Ben Wallace accuses Rishi Suank of trying to block extra cash for defence spending

29 July 2022, 09:49 | Updated: 20 October 2022, 13:53

Sunak did not support the multi-year defence settlement

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has accused Rishi Sunak of trying to block money for defence spending in 2019, only to find himself over-ruled by the Prime Minister.

Rishi Sunak was not in support of the multi-year defence settlement, Ben Wallace has told LBC.

The Defence Secretary, who is supporting Liz Truss in the Conservative Party leadership contest, was asked by LBC's Nick Ferrari how obstructive the former chancellor was in granting more cash to the armed forces.

Mr Wallace replied: "I don't think he was obstructive..."

Watch: 'Feisty' Truss is my choice for PM, says Ben Wallace as he reveals endorsement

When pressed further by Nick, the Defence Secretary said: "I mean, the multi-year settlement that we got was not what the Treasury had wanted. They wanted a one-year settlement. This was back in 2019, I think. And it was vital that we got a multi-year settlement. And the Prime Minister effectively asserted his authority and made sure that's what happened."

Nick asked: "But Mr Sunak was not in support?"

Mr Wallace replied: "Not that I remember."

Read more: Truss says no gender surgery for kids as Sunak accused of 'stabbing Boris in the back'

Defence Sec explains why he's backing Liz Truss in leadership race

The Defence Secretary told The Sun: “I’m keen that whoever is the next PM invests in defence. But the Treasury resisted the PM’s ambition for it to be 2.5 per cent.”

Mr Wallace also warned a hike is needed to counter global threats and to keep to NATO spending commitments.

Last month Boris Johnson said the UK would boost its spending in the wake of the war in Ukraine, as he warned of a “very different era” of insecurity in Europe.

Speaking from the Nato summit in Madrid, Mr Johnson welcomed the alliance’s decision to review the current defence spending target of two per cent of GDP for its members.

“Countries around the table are also recognising that they need to spend more and in our case, that means meeting and being prepared to exceed the target we set for ourselves a decade ago of everybody spending two per cent of GDP on defence,” he said.

“The goals that were then set for a very different era, and what we’re saying is that we want Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General, to start work on that new target now and he’s agreed to do that.”

“We need to invest for the long term in vital capabilities like future combat air, while simultaneously adapting to a more dangerous and more competitive world,” he added.

“And the logical conclusion of the investments on which we propose to embark, on these decisions, is that we will reach 2.5 per cent of GDP on defence by the end of the decade.”

Britain currently spends 2.3 per cent of GDP on defence, when the budget for supporting Ukraine is included in the figure.

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Dame Esther Rantzen has told LBC why she is campaigning to change the law on assisted dying

‘Dogs get treated better than humans’, Esther Rantzen says, as TV legend demands assisted dying law change

Rishi Sunak (l) puts on a brave face to the Tories by-election defeats on a visit to Harlow. New Kingswood MP Damien Egan (top r) and Wellingborough MP Gem Kitchen (bottom r)

Rishi Sunak begs frustrated Tories 'not to put Starmer in power' after party suffers double by-election disaster

New Labour MPs Damien Egan and Gen Kitchen

'They are not very good results': Tory chairman admits after double by-election drubbings as MPs call for tax cuts

The peer was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'It was known yesterday' Azhar Ali had made more Israel conspiracy theory comments, peer tells LBC

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, a senior anti-fraud officer has said.

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, senior anti-fraud officer tells LBC

The vessel is due to lead the largest Nato exercise since the Cold War, involving more than 40 vessels, after its sister ship was forced to cancel its deployment because of an 'issue' with its propeller shaft.

HMS Prince of Wales docked while it should be 'defending our interests abroad', Minister brands it 'not acceptable'

Lord Rose took aim at government quangos in the wake of the Post Office scandal

'They grow like multi-headed hydras': Asda chairman takes aim at government quangos after Post Office scandal

Lord Stuart Rose speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Police 'not picking up the phone' to attend shoplifting 'endemic', Lord Stuart Rose tells LBC

Dentists who set up practice in areas of England with poor access to NHS care will be offered a £20,000 bonus

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stumped on exact figure for new dentists as ministers plan £20,000 ‘golden hello’

When asked by Nick to sum up the Government in one word, Ms Keegan said: "Delivering."

Gillian Keegan rates the Government using Ofsted descriptions - and it's not 'Outstanding'

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules', the Housing Minister told LBC

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules'

Iceland CEO on his support for Labour after defecting from the Tories.

'The Tories have failed the nation': Iceland CEO and former Tory donor throws support behind Labour

The policing minister has said first-time offenders for knife crime will not be jailed.

No plans to jail first-time knife offenders despite desperate pleas of Nottingham attack victim's family

US voters can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden

'Two old men fighting over a Zimmer frame': US can do better than Trump or Biden as president, says Jon Sopel

Nick Ferrari says bosses need to 'get a grip' and start justifying their huge pay packets with services that actually work

Firms led by overpaid bosses need a ‘reality check’ - let's get people back to the office, says Nick Ferrari