DEFENCE Secretary Ben Wallace has confirmed that he will leave Cabinet at the next reshuffle and said that he will not stand in the next General Election.

In an interview with The Times, he confirmed his plans but ruled out any suggestion that he would leave "prematurely".

It comes after the newspaper reporter on Saturday morning that Wallace, a close ally of Boris Johnson, was weighing up whether or not to exit politics entirely. 

He remains supportive of Rishi Sunak and the Government and the departure would not be related to the Conservative Party’s current challenges, the paper reported.

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Wallace first entered politics in 1999 when he was elected as an MSP for North East Scotland. 

"I went into politics in the Scottish Parliament in 1999. That's 24 years. I've spent well over seven years with three phones by my bed", he told The Times. 

The next reshuffle is widely predicted to come in September. He joins a list of more than 40 Tory MPs who have announced they are standing down at the next election, which has fueled the notion that many Conservatives have given up hope of victory. 

However, Wallace said this was not the reason he is standing down. He said: "I think the Government can win the election. In my part of the world, I don't think those voters are yet convinced at all by Keir Starmer. It's definitely up for grabs."

Wallace had expressed an interest in standing for the role of Nato secretary-general before it was announced the current chief, Jens Stoltenberg, had been given another year in charge.

He told The Economist there were a “lot of unresolved issues” in the military alliance and “it’s not going to happen”. He later downplayed the prospect of a future bid to run the organisation.

Last week, the Prime Minister shut down comments from Wallace in which he suggested Ukraine should show “gratitude” for the military support it had been given.

Wallace had made the remark after the country’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy branded it “absurd” for Nato to insist there were still conditions for his nation to meet before it can gain membership once the war with Russia is over.

Zelenskyy later said: “I believe that we were always grateful to United Kingdom.

“I don’t know what he meant and how else we should be grateful.”

Popular within the Tory party, Wallace is the longest continuously serving minister in Government, having been security minister under Theresa May before being promoted to Defence Secretary by Johnson and continuing the role under his two successors.

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He was previously appointed as a whip in 2014 and a junior minister in the Northern Ireland Office in 2015 while David Cameron was prime minister.