Ben Wallace appointed defence secretary as new PM rings changes

Lancashire MP Ben Wallace has been appointed defence secretary by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 7:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 8:38 pm
Ben Wallace MP arriving for a meeting with new PM Boris Johnson

The 49-year-old MP for Wyre and Preston North, who succeeds Penny Mordaunt in the Cabinet role, has been Minister of State for Security and Economic Crime since 2016.

He was first elected as the MP for the former Lancaster and Wyre seat in 2005.

Ms Mordaunt was quick to congratulate Mr Wallace, tweeting: "Knows his stuff and cares deeply about those working in defence and security. Best of luck to him!"

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Fylde-born Stephen Barclay MP going into No 10 for a meeting with Mr Johnson ahead it being announced he was being retained as Brexit Secretary

Meanwhile, Fylde-born Stephen Barclay has been retained as Brexit Secretary after first being appointed to the role by Mr Johnson's predecessor Theresa May last November.

The 47-year-old father of three, MP for North East Cambridgeshire since 2010, was Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care before being promoted to the Brexit job after Dominic Raab quit.

Mr Raab has been appointed the new Foreign Secretary by Mr Johnson, while Sajid Javid is the new Chancellor and Priti Patel Home Secretary in succession to Mr Javid.

The appointments came after Mr Johnson wielded the axe, with more than half of Mrs May's Cabinet either quitting or being sacked.Jeremy Hunt, Mr Johnson's rival in the Tory leadership race, left the Government after refusing to be demoted from foreign secretary.Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox, prominent backers of Mr Hunt, were among the first to be sacked as Mr Johnson carried out a radical reshaping of the Cabinet.Other ministers shown the exit include Damian Hinds, Greg Clark, David Mundell, Karen Bradley, James Brokenshire and Mel Stride.Before Mr Johnson even took office, Philip Hammond quit as chancellor, David Gauke resigned as justice secretary and Rory Stewart left his post as international development secretary.David Lidington, Mrs May's de facto deputy prime minister, left office at the same time as his boss while Chris Grayling resigned as transport secretary.Mr Johnson's first dramatic hours as Prime Minister began with a wide-ranging speech in Downing Street shortly after being asked to form a Government by the Queen.Watched by girlfriend Carrie Symonds, Mr Johnson promised he would "change this country for the better" and vowed to prove the Brexit doubters wrong.He said: "I am standing before you today, to tell you the British people, that those critics are wrong - the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters are going to get it wrong again."He predicted that "the people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts because we are going to restore trust in our democracy".He added: "And we are going to fulfil the repeated promises of Parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31, no ifs or buts."And we will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities of Brexit while allowing us to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe based on free trade and mutual support."I have every confidence that in 99 days' time we will have cracked it."