UK Foreign Secretary Cleverly tapped as potential defense secretary — The Times
James Cleverly (photo – EPA)

After the expected departure of Ben Wallace from the post of British defense secretary in September 2023, this position may be filled by the current Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, The Times writes, referring to its own sources.

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Senior British officials told reporters that Cleverly could be ready for a change of position, with Minister of State for Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan taking his place.

"Work in the field of defense is one of the most important for Sunak, given the war in Ukraine, and Cleverly has experience thanks to his current work. He is an army reservist," the publication said.

Among other contenders for the position of the new British defense secretary, journalists name the Armed Forces Minister James Heappey, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen and the Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, who was the British defense secretary before Ben Wallace, in 2019, albeit only for a few months.

"However, she is viewed with suspicion at Downing Street after she ran for the position of leader, and she is unlikely to be given such a high-profile role," the journalists note.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Wallace confirmed that he will resign during the next reshuffle in the British government, will not stand for election, and will leave politics altogether.