Ben Wallace has been announced as the new Defence Secretary
26 days ago
Ben Wallace has been announced as the new Defence Secretary as part of Boris Johnson's cabinet shake-up.
Mr Wallace takes over the position from his predecessor Penny Mordaunt.
The Wyre and Preston North MP comes into the job after a three-year stint as a security minister.
Speaking for the first time since the announcement, Mr Wallace said: "As a former officer with the Scots Guards, it is an honour to take up this role at the Ministry of Defence.”
"I know first-hand the dedication and hard-work of our Armed Forces and I will be committed to ensuring their interests come first.
"I look forward to getting started and meeting colleagues from across the department and our military."
Ben attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and Millfield School in Somerset.
Ben first entered politics as a Member of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Following a move to Lancashire, he was elected to the UK House of Parliament in 2005. In 2010 Ben was elected as MP for the newly-created constituency of Wyre and Preston North. He has held a number of posts both in opposition and government, including Shadow Minister for Scotland and Parliamentary Private Secretary to The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke CH QC MP, at the Ministry of Justice and Cabinet Office. In July 2014, Ben Wallace was appointed as a government whip. He previously served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office from May 2015 until July 2016.
In 2008, he was awarded ‘Campaigner of the Year’ by The Spectator after leading calls for improved transparency and the reform of parliamentary expenses.
He was elected the Conservative MP for Wyre and Preston North in May 2010.
Ben Wallace was Minister of State for Security at the Home Office from 17 July 2016 to 24 July 2019.
Career outside politics
After school Ben worked as a ski instructor in Austria before starting a career in the armed forces. On completing Sandhurst he was commissioned as an Officer into the Scots Guards. During the 1990s he saw service in Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus and Central America. He was mentioned in dispatches in 1992.
In 2003 Ben Wallace joined the aerospace company QinetiQ as their overseas director.
Secretary of State for Defence
The Secretary of State for Defence has overall responsibility for the business of the department including:
• strategic operations and operational strategy, including membership of the National Security Council
• defence planning, programme and resource allocation
• strategic international partnerships: US, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, NATO
• nuclear operations, policy and organisations
• strategic communications
How has Ben Wallace voted on defence-related issues?
He has consistently voted for the use of UK forces in combat operations overseas, including airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Mr Wallace has also generally voted for investigations into the Iraq War.
He has also generally voted against the strengthening of the Military Covenant.
Mr Wallace has almost always supported replacing the UK's Trident nuclear deterrent programme with a new system.
However, he has also backed a vote to renew the Trident programme.