Ben Wallace resigns – read his letter of resignation, and the PM’s reply, in full

Ben Wallace has resigned as defence secretary forward of an anticipated reshuffle from the prime minister.

Learn his resignation letter in full:

Expensive prime minister,

Final month marked my fourth yr as Secretary of State for Defence. It additionally marks the ninth yr as a minister. I’ve had the privilege of serving you and your predecessors within the job of defending this nice nation and retaining its residents secure.


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As that duty carries with it a 24/7 obligation to be accessible at virtually no discover. In my time as each Safety Minister and at Defence, I’ve been in a position to contribute to the federal government’s response to a spread of threats and incidents.

From Wannacry, the 2017 terrorist assaults, the Salisbury Poisonings, Afghanistan, Sudan and Ukraine, it has been an honour to serve alongside the women and men of our Armed Forces and intelligence providers who sacrifice a lot for our safety.

The final 4 years has seen our Armed Forces and their management shine by means of. Whether or not it was the evacuation of Kabul, our COVID response, Ukraine or Sudan, the professionalism of our individuals has been top quality.

The funding you made in Defence as Chancellor and the continued assist you have got proven as prime minister has been key to enabling the Ministry of Defence to ship for Britain. I’m personally very grateful to your management.

In addition to being lively around the globe we’ve got additionally invested in prosperity at dwelling. I’m proud that I’ve secured GCAP, AUKUS, NCF, Nationwide shipbuilding and the Defence and Safety industrial methods that may safe 1000’s of British jobs for our younger individuals a few years into the long run.

The Ministry of Defence is again on the trail to being as soon as once more world class with world class individuals. The UK is revered around the globe for our Armed Forces and that respect has solely grown extra because the battle in Ukraine.

I do know you agree with me that we should not return to the times the place defence was considered as a discretionary spend by authorities and financial savings have been achieved by hollowing out. I genuinely consider that over the subsequent decade the world will get extra insecure and extra unstable. We each share the assumption that now’s the time to take a position.

Ever since I joined the Military I’ve devoted myself to serving my nation. That dedication nonetheless comes at a private toll to me and my household. After a lot reflection, I’ve taken the choice to ask that I be allowed to step down. I gained my seat in 2005 and after so a few years it’s time for me to put money into the components of life that I’ve uncared for, and to discover new alternatives.

Thanks for the assist and your friendship. You and the federal government may have my continued assist.

The prime minister this morning accepted Mr Wallace’s resignation.

The letter reads:

Expensive Ben,

You’ve served our nation with distinction. Your strategic foresight and readability has been invaluable to our nation and the safety of our continent. You noticed, earlier than others did, what Vladimir Putin’s true intentions in Ukraine have been. Your willpower to get Kiev weaponry earlier than the Russians attacked had a cloth impact on the flexibility of the Ukrainians to thwart the invasion.

I’m pleased with how this nation has led in responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

You’ve performed a completely important position in rallying assist for Ukraine at dwelling and overseas You’ve eloquently made the case that this isn’t merely an assault on a proud and sovereign nation, it’s an assault on our values, European safety and the open worldwide order on which stability and prosperity have depended for 3 quarters of a century.

You’ve been a vigorous advocate for the defence of the realm and you’ve got provided management to our armed forces who sacrifice a lot to maintain our nation secure. You’ve thought lengthy and exhausting about how one can maintain our nation secure and devoted your self to that trigger.

I’m glad that over time we’ve got labored collectively to place the defence funds on a steady footing and make sure that the army may have the sources it wants within the years to return.

Because the built-in assessment refresh clarify we are going to transfer away from the baseline dedication of spending no less than 2 per cent of GDP on defence to a brand new aspiration to succeed in 2.5 per cent.

In essentially the most tough of conditions, you have got displayed distinctive judgement. You have been instrumental within the evacuation of over 15,000 individuals from Afghanistan throughout Operation Pitting. Your anticipation and management of one of many largest evacuations of contemporary instances was central to its success. You have been additionally the driving power within the design and implementation of the Afghanistan Relocations and Help Coverage that has enabled us to carry to the UK these to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.

The UK service strike group’s seven month deployment in your watch was an illustration of this nation’s international attain, and the depth of our alliances. Your work on AUKUS will assist maintain the democratic world secure for many years to return. It’s massively thrilling to suppose that there will probably be inter-operable submarine fleets patrolling the Atlantic and the Pacific within the years to return, and your position in making this occur has been invaluable.

The dedication and ability with which you have got discharged your tasks as Secretary of State for Defence has been typical of your perception in public service and deep dedication to the armed forces and safety of the UK. You permit the Ministry of Defence and the Armed forces effectively positioned to face the long run.

You’ve served our nation in three of essentially the most demanding posts in authorities: defence secretary, safety minister and Northern Eire minister. In every of these jobs, you have got provided tireless service. As safety minister, you dealt not solely with the 2017 terrorist assault however a chemical weapon assault on our soil. I’ll at all times be personally grateful to you to your loyalty and recommendation since I grew to become Prime Minister.

I totally perceive your need to step down after eight years of exacting ministerial duties. As you say, the roles you have got finished have required you to be accessible on a steady foundation. However I do know you have got extra to supply public life each right here and internationally. You permit workplace with my thanks and respect.

Yours sincerely,