Boris Johnson handed major boost as Tory high flyer Ben Wallace rules out leadership bid


TORY high-flyer Ben Wallace today ruled himself out of the running to replace Boris Johnson.

The Defence Secretary told HOAR he has no interest a tilt at No 10 after being touted by backbenchers.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace at the NATO summit today

The ex Army captain turned politician said he loves his current job which is “the best in Government”.

His remarks on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels will prompt a sigh of relief from the embattled PM.

Mr Wallace is seen as a rising star within the party thanks to his handling of the Ukraine crisis.

He’s now the most popular Cabinet minister amongst the rank and file with a +80 satisfaction rating.

The 51-year-old has been linked with a run at the leadership if Boris is ousted over Partygate.

But he said: “For someone like me to be Defence Secretary is just an amazing thing. It is the best job in government.

“I get to do what I have always enjoyed and have a background in, so I am not really attracted to anything else other than that.”

Tory MPs heaped praise on Mr Wallace in a private WhatsApp group this week, sparking talk of the leadership.

Virginia Crosbie, a 2019 recruit who represents Anglesey, shared a newspaper column lauding the Defence Sec.

It said he’s one of the few politicians “to have emerged from the events of the last few weeks with their reputations enhanced”.

Trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan replied that the praise was “totally well deserved”.

Tom Tungendhat, chair of the foreign affairs committee, added: “He’s doing a great job. Not just in Russia but keeping our allies’ morale up.”

The PM is still awaiting the outcome of a Met investigation into lockdown breaking parties at No 10.

He’s determined to cling on no matter what, but even close allies admit he’ll have to go if fined by the police.

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