Ben Wallace says he is backing Liz Truss because she understands ‘threats’ faced by UK – live
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Ben Wallace says he is backing Liz Truss because she understands ‘threats’ faced by UK – live

Defence secretary says Tory leadership hopeful recognises need for proper defence funding

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

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.

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.

The prime minister did. It was the prime minister’s determination that we got a multi-year settlement, that we got one when we desperately needed one, and we got 24 billion extra.

And that investment I’m keen continues. I don’t want it to be a sort of boom or bust, which has often happened to defence, and that’s why it gets into big trouble.

We need a Labour leadership that is prepared to stand up and does not look the other way when BT workers are going to foodbanks.

Let’s be absolutely clear – it is not good enough, it is not good enough for the Labour Party to say that we probably won’t be able to give you a pay rise in line with inflation. Because that means the Labour Party is committed to cut people’s wages in real terms and that is totally unacceptable.

If I’m sacked for having said that live on TV and not supposed to [have] been on that picket line then people need to have a really hard think about what the Labour Party is for.

Because for me the clue is in the name: Labour. On the side of working people.

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