The post of prime minister in the UK
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace will not fight for prime minister following the resignation of Liz Truss and is ready to back former head of government Boris Johnson's candidacy. He said this in an interview with Sky News on Friday.
"I find I am most useful when I am keeping the British people safe as Defence Secretary. That's the job I do and I intend to continue to do, which is why I won't be running for Prime Minister at the moment. The reasons are really the same as last time," Ben said.
Asked which of Truss' possible successors he would be prepared to support, Wallace said he was now leaning "towards Boris Johnson". He recalled that Johnson, who resigned in July under pressure from members of his own government, led the ruling Conservative Party to its biggest parliamentary election victory in 40 years in 2019.
The minister said that in choosing a new Tory leader, it was necessary to think about the result he could deliver for the party in the next election, which is due by the end of 2024. Wallace said Johnson had always taken external threats facing the UK seriously and increased defence spending.
Earlier, Ben Wallace's entourage told the British media that the issue of increasing the kingdom's military budget to 3% of the country's GDP was of fundamental importance to the minister. Truss has promised to achieve this target by 2030. At the same time, Rishi Sunak, stressed that he did not intend to make such a commitment and tie it to a specific timeframe.
So far, none of the potential candidates, including Johnson, have officially announced a run for the premiership. Also, candidates will need to break the very high barrier of 100 peer votes to advance to the next round of parliamentary voting. Once the two finalists have been decided, ordinary members of the Conservative Party, whose numbers vary from 160,000 to almost 200,000, will be asked to decide the winner by electronic voting. The results should be available by 28 October.
It is also possible that one of the finalists will decide to withdraw. This was the case in 2016, when Andrea Leadsom withdrew from the final round, thereby making Theresa May head of the Tory party and the national government ahead of schedule. In the event of such a development, the name of Truss' successor will be known as early as Monday.