Defence secretary and longest serving cabinet minister will also quit his post at next reshuffle

Ben Wallace is to leave government at the next cabinet reshuffle after four years as defence secretary and will not stand in the general election.

Wallace, who has played a key role in responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and was a close ally of Boris Johnson, told the Sunday Times he was “not standing next time” but he ruled out leaving parliament “prematurely” and forcing another byelection on Rishi Sunak, of whom he remains supportive.

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