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London, July 16 – UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has reportedly said that he will step down at the next Cabinet reshuffle after four years in the job.
Wallace, who has played a key role in the UK’s response to the Ukraine war, told the Sunday Times he would not stand at the next general election, but ruled out leaving “prematurely” and triggering a by-election. He has served as Defence Secretary under three Prime Ministers.
Rishi Sunak is reportedly planning to shake up his top team, but no date has been confirmed, the BBC reported.
His departure is not related to the Conservative party’s current challenges, The Guardian reported, citing multiple reports.
“I went into politics in the Scottish parliament in 1999. That’s 24 years. I’ve spent well over seven years with three phones by my bed,” Wallace told the Sunday Times.
Wallace, who has served longer in the role than any Conservative Defence Secretary before him, told the newspaper that he was conscious of the impact the job has had on his family.
He told the newspaper: “While I am proud to have worked with so many amazing people and helped contribute to protecting this great country, the cost of putting that ahead of my family is something I am very sad about.”
Wallace, a former soldier, is a popular figure in the Conservative Party and was, at times, seen as a frontrunner to become party leader, though never stood in a leadership election.