Bookies favourite Ben Wallace pulls out of Tory leadership race ‘to focus on job as Defence Secretary’


TORY leadership hopeful Ben Wallace has pulled out of the race to become the next Prime Minister.

The Defence Secretary, 52, said after “careful consideration” he was ruling himself out of replacing Boris Johnson.

Ben Wallace has pulled out of the Tory leadership race

Taking to Twitter, Mr Wallace – who was the bookies’ favourite to succeed the PM – said his priorities lay with keeping the country safe amidst Mad Vlad’s invasion of Ukraine.

He said: “After careful consideration and discussing with colleagues and family, I have taken the decision not to enter the contest for leadership of the Conservative Party.

“I am very grateful to all my parliamentary colleagues and wider members who have pledged support.

“It has not been an easy choice to make, but my focus is on my current job and keeping this great country safe.

“I wish the very best of luck to all candidates and hope we swiftly return to focusing on the issues that we are all elected to address.”

Mr Wallace is the first to fold in the race to become leader of the Conservative Party and the next Prime Minister when Mr Johnson leaves in the autumn.

With the Defence Secretary gone, key figures are lining up their campaigns to get the keys to Number 10.

Attorney General Suella Braverman became the first Conservative to announce her leadership bid during an interview on ITV’s Peston.

While ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed yesterday that he will also be running.

Mr Sunak called for “honesty” and laid out his stall as the “unity candidate” after months of infighting.

Posting a slick video on Twitter, he said: “I’m standing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister.

“Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the economy.”

Big hitters like Nadhim Zahawi, Liz Truss, Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt are all expected to put themselves forward too.

Mr Johnson has stepped down after facing one of the biggest rebellions in British political history.