Five facts on new UK defence minister Ben Wallace

Parvez Jabri July 25, 2019

LONDON: Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson named Ben Wallace as defence minister on Wednesday, a promotion for a man who has only ever been a junior minister.

– Wallace, 49, was a ski instructor after leaving school before entering Britain’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Scots Guards at the age of 20 and he has also worked in the aerospace industry.

– Wallace has served in several government roles, most recently as minister for security and economic crime. He also worked in the Northern Ireland Office and as a government whip.

– He is a “firm believer” in small government. “People and communities should be left alone by Whitehall which too often tries to impose a one size fits all approach to life,” he says on his website. “Government should be in the business of rewarding aspiration and not in the business of protecting privilege. It should stand up for those who live by the rules.”

– He warned in 2018 that a no-deal Brexit would make Britain more vulnerable to militant attack because it could compromise information-sharing with the EU.

– Wallace was one of two signatories on Boris Johnson’s nomination papers to be Conservative Party leader.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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