Secretary of State for Defence

The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP


Ben Wallace was appointed Secretary of State for Defence on 24 July 2019.


Ben attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and Millfield School in Somerset.

Political career

Ben first entered politics as a Member of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Following a move to Lancashire, he was elected to the UK House of Parliament in 2005. His first job in Government was as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Veteran Cabinet Minister the Rt. Hon Ken Clarke QC, as Justice Secretary. He has served as a whip, the Northern Ireland Minister and lastly the UK’s longest serving Security Minister.

In 2008, he was awarded ‘Campaigner of the Year’ by The Spectator after leading calls for improved transparency and the reform of parliamentary expenses.

He was elected the Conservative MP for Wyre and Preston North in May 2010, and formerly MP for Lancaster and Wyre in 2005.

Ben Wallace was Minister of State for Security at the Home Office from 17 July 2016 to 24 July 2019. He was in position during the terror attacks of 2017 and the Russian State attack in Salisbury in 2018.

Career outside politics

After school Ben worked as a ski instructor in Austria before starting a career in the armed forces. On completing Sandhurst he was commissioned as an Officer into the Scots Guards. During the 1990s he saw service in Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus and Central America. He was mentioned in dispatches in 1992.

In 2003 Ben Wallace joined the aerospace company QinetiQ.

Personal life

Ben and his family live in Lancashire. He enjoys rugby, skiing, motor sports and horse racing.

Secretary of State for Defence

The Secretary of State for Defence has overall responsibility for the business of the department.

Responsibilities include:

  • strategic operations and operational strategy, including as a member of the National Security Council
  • defence planning, programme and resource allocation
  • strategic international partnerships: US, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, NATO
  • nuclear operations, policy and organisations
  • strategic communications

More about this role

Ministry of Defence

Previous roles in government