Boost for Truss as she is backed by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace who slams Sunak

28 July 2022, 22:34 | Updated: 20 October 2022, 13:53

Ben Wallace has come out for Team Truss
Ben Wallace has come out for Team Truss. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

Ben Wallace has declared for Liz Truss in the Tory leadership race – and launched a blistering attack on Rishi Sunak.

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The defence secretary, who has proved very popular with Conservative members in the wake of the Ukraine invasion, said he did not have the "luxury" of walking out on the Government as Boris Johnson's tenure as PM began to collapse.

And he praised Liz Truss, who has generated real momentum in her bid to become Prime Minister, as a "what you see is what you get character".

Speaking to The Sun, Mr Wallace attacked Mr Sunak's resignation as Chancellor, which preceded dozens of departures that led to Mr Johnson finally admitting defeat in his attempt to stay in office.

Read more: Children shouldn't be allowed to make 'irreversible' gender changes, says Truss

"I don't have the luxury as Defence Secretary of just walking out the door - I have roles in keeping this country safe.

"And the guardian of the markets, you know, the guardian of our economy, is the Chancellor. I mean, what would have happened that day if the markets had crashed?"

He added: "We each had our own considerations. I have a duty until I’m replaced."

Ben Wallace has backed Liz Truss
Ben Wallace has backed Liz Truss. Picture: Getty

Mr Wallace said Mr Johnson overruled Mr Sunak in providing more cash for the military, supported Ms Truss's plans for tax cuts and expressed his desire to stay in his role under a Truss government.

"What you see is what you get with Liz and that is what the public wants more than ever at this moment," he said, describing her as authentic, honest and experienced.

Read more: Tory leadership hustings: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss join Nick Ferrari | Watch again

"I get that she is not the slickest salesperson on the planet, right? She's not running a highly polished Hollywood production leadership campaign, but that's reflective of who she is," he said, following on from Mr Sunak's well-oiled PR machine.

"She knows how to govern. And her experience goes from running the finances of this country all the way through to Britain on the foreign stage."

Liz Truss has picked Ben Wallace's support
Liz Truss has picked Ben Wallace's support. Picture: Getty

His comments come as Mr Sunak and Ms Truss tried to appeal to Tory members in a party hustings hosted by LBC's Nick Ferrari.

Mr Sunak again said too many problems had happened for him to stay in Government when Nick asked about whether he had stabbed Boris Johnson in the back.

One of the biggest rounds of applause was when Nick asked about support for Mr Johnson appearing on the leadership ballot.

Ms Truss vowed to beat the "plastic patriot" Sir Keir Starmer, with Mr Sunak's campaign having referred to polling suggesting he was more popular than her or the Labour leader.

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