Ben Wallace: Favorite to replace Boris Johnson has unlikely history as ace ski instructor | Politics | New

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Boris Johnson dramatically resigned as Britain’s Prime Minister yesterday, delivering a farewell speech surrounded by family and supporters outside No 10. His position has come under scrutiny after dozens of ministers resigned, including its Chancellor Rishi Sunak. , and Health Secretary Sajid Javid. In his last speech as Tory leader, Mr Johnson acknowledged the difficulties he had faced while in office: “As we saw at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves , he moves.

“And my friends in politics, no one is absolutely indispensable and our brilliant, Darwinian system will produce another leader who is equally determined to move this country forward through difficult times.”

Mr Johnson added: “I know there will be a lot of people who will be relieved and maybe a few who will also be disappointed. And I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job. of the world. But it’s the breaks.”

His resignation has sparked a wave of speculation around who his replacement might be, and among the early favorites to succeed him is current Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

Although he was an influential figure during his time in Parliament, first becoming MP for Wyre and Preston North in 2005, little is known about Mr Wallace outside Westminster.

Before starting a career in the armed forces, the Farnborough-born politician grew up in Somerset, being interviewed for a series of posts after completing his studies, including by the Board of Regular Commissions.

He then embarked on a brief career as a top ski instructor at the Austrian National Ski School in the village of Alpbach, Austria.

He then changed course and became interested in a career in the military.

Mr Wallace started as a cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in June 1991 and was soon commissioned into the Scots Guards as a Second Lieutenant.

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Less than a decade later, Mr. Wallace was elected MP.

He made headlines in 2009, when he spoke out after being snubbed by then Higher Education Minister Sion Simon when the couple were due to meet to discuss college funding .

The curator hit out at Mr Simon after it emerged he had canceled their meeting proposal, in favor of a gym session, according to reports.

During a session with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, Mr Wallace lashed out at then Skills Secretary John Denham.

He said: “This afternoon I had a meeting with your colleague, Birmingham MP Erdington [Mr Simon]at 2:30 p.m.

“The purpose was to discuss the failure of Blackpool Year Six Colleges Capital Scheme funding to Myerscough College in my constituency.

“That appointment has been canceled – I learn later that the minister then spent time in the gymnasium.

“If the Minister has time to spend in the gym but does not meet with me to discuss a point on college funding, doesn’t that say a lot about his ministry’s priorities?”

As his Conservative Party colleagues laughed, Mr Denham, according to a Daily Mail report at the time, replied: ‘My honorable friend has met an enormous number of MPs who have understandably had concerns about the capital FE and I’m pretty sure that if he couldn’t meet you today, he will be able to in the not too distant future.”

Meanwhile, among those backing Mr Wallace was Coral, who installed Mr Sunak as the second favorite.

John Hill, of Coral, said: “Over 60% of all the bets we’ve taken on the Tory leader market have been for Ben Wallace.

“The Secretary of Defense is the favorite and his chances are going down all the time.

“The other big player in betting is Tom Tugendhat. His odds dropped when he confirmed he intended to stay.”

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