UK defense Minister Ben Wallace resigns, urges caution on defense spending.

Ben Wallace, the UK’s Defense Minister, has submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. In his resignation letter, he expressed his continued support for the government while cautioning against viewing defense as discretionary spending. Wallace had previously announced his intention to leave the position last month after four years and to step down as a legislator in the next general election to explore other opportunities.

Wallace, who played a crucial role in shaping the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, had aspirations to become NATO Secretary General, but this plan was thwarted when Jens Stoltenberg’s term was extended for another year. The 53-year-old, a former British Army captain, held lesser ministerial positions in previous administrations before being appointed Defense Minister in 2019 by his ally, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

While some members of the Conservative Party expressed disappointment over Wallace’s resignation, it was not expected to impact the UK’s support for Ukraine. In his official resignation letter, Wallace emphasized the importance of not making defense budget cuts, stating that the Ministry of Defense is on the path to becoming world-class again.

He also posted on social media, “That’s all folks. Been a privilege to serve this great nation.”

Prime Minister Sunak praised Wallace’s service, acknowledging his demanding roles in government, which included Defense Secretary, Security Minister, and Northern Ireland Minister.

Following Wallace’s resignation, Grant Shapps, the Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary, will take over his position. Shapps will be assuming his fifth cabinet role in less than a year, including roles as Energy Secretary, Transport Secretary, and briefly, Home Secretary. Notably, Shapps had campaigned to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister in 2022 but withdrew to support Rishi Sunak.