Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has revealed he will stand down in the next reshuffle and stand down as an MP at the next election.
Wallace, the longest serving Conservative Ministry of Defensehe said in an interview with The Times: “I won’t be standing next time.”
He added that he will not force a by-election by resigning “prematurely”. as have Boris Johnson’s fellow allies.
Wallace also confirmed that he would leave the cabinet at the next reshuffle, which the prime minister is expected to hold this September.
Sky News reported that he was considering moving on Saturday.
“I entered politics in the Scottish Parliament in 1999. That’s 24 years. I’ve spent more than seven years with three phones next to my bed,” he told The Times.
When asked what the devices were for, he replied, “Secret, secret, secret.”
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It comes after controversy last week when the defense secretary said this at a NATO summit press conference the UK was not an “Amazon” arms delivery service in Ukraine
He also said Kiev might be wise to let its supporters “see gratitude.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak later pushed back against the comments, saying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had “expressed his appreciation for what we have done on several occasions”.
Mr Zelenskyy, speaking at the same event in Lithuania, also replied: “I think we were always grateful to the UK.”
Speculation about the defense secretary’s fate has been mounting for weeks, with Defense Ministry officials wondering who might replace him.
It also comes following a Britain’s failed bid to make Mr Wallace the next head of NATO.
Last month, the 53-year-old ruled himself out of the race to replace Jens Stoltenberg after apparently failing to win US support.
Wallace told The Times that a desire to spend more time with his family, including his three children, was one of his reasons for leaving politics.
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When asked what he would do next, he replied, “I’m very happy to go work in a bar” or “just do something completely different.”
Wallace’s career in the corridors of power came after he left school at eighteen, before a “short stint” as a ski instructor in Austria.
He then served as a captain in the Scots Guards and worked in the aerospace industry before entering politics in 1999.
Wallace was once proposed as a potential candidate for Conservative leader and prime minister.
But he he ruled himself out of the race to replace Boris Johnson last summer and instead supported the eventual winner Liz Truss.
Then he said would not participate in the competition to replace her and revealed he was “leaning towards” backing a return of Mr Johnson to office.
Mr Wallace had faced the prospect of effectively losing his Wyre and Preston North constituency at the next general election under boundary changes, meaning he would have had to take another seat to remain an MP.
The MP also revealed in his interview with The Times that, in the run-up to the war in Ukraine, he discussed Britain’s arms supply to Kiev, using whiskey as code.
Referring to the secret talks with his counterpart Oleksii Reznikov, he said: “the Nlaw [anti-tank missile] it was Glenfiddich and the Harpoon anti-ship missiles were Islay.
“I’d send him a text saying ‘I’ve got some whiskey for you’ or ‘the whiskey is on’. We just picked keywords, minister to minister.”