Polling guru John Curtice exposes Tory MP at forefront of taking over Boris Johnson

John Curtice praises Defence Secretary Ben Wallace

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has been tipped by polling expert John Curtice to be the new Conservative frontrunner to replace Boris Johnson as UK Prime Minister. Ben Wallace has been credited with managing Britain’s support to Ukraine following the Russian invasion. 

Professor Curtice told GB News: “There’s no doubt that at least until a couple of weeks ago, any immediate leadership contest inside the Conservative Party will be a battle between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss

Rishi Sunak certainly, as far as the wider public is concerned, both the better known and the more popular of the two.

“But on the other hand, Liz Truss is much liked by many people who are members of the Conservative Party and of course, they would be the ultimate electorate.

“Now, two things are going to be changed. One is we’ve learned that Rishi Sunak is now also to some degree at least caught in the partygate row, and if he were to be fired along with the Prime Minister and were to bring the Prime Minister down, it’s not telling that Mr Sunak will be in a position to inherit.”

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He continued: “The second thing that I think has changed is that the person who’s come up best so far out of the Ukraine crisis is Ben Wallace, the Defence Minister.

“It is reportedly Ben Wallace that was insistent that we should be trying to open the Ukrainian sooner rather than later.

“And to that extent, at least, if he wants it and who knows.

“But maybe as it sometimes happens on things it depends on who is doing well at the time when a vacancy arises and just at this point in time a least, is looked to the Ben Wallace, who seems to be the most surefooted of Mr Johnson’s cabinet ministers.”

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It comes as Russian hoaxers, suspected of working for the Kremlin, released a full version of their video call with Mr Wallace.

The MoD has warned the footage being trickled out, in which Mr Wallace thought he was talking to Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal, is doctored and propaganda.

The hoaxers warned that a “prank” call with Home Secretary Priti Patel will follow “soon”.

Britain has already sent more than 4,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, including next-generation light anti-tank weapons systems (Nlaws) and Javelin missiles.

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Defence procurement minister Jeremy Quin said the UK “will always have a sufficiency of the weaponry we need to meet our needs” after a hoax video featuring the Defence Secretary emerged.

In one extract of a hoax call between Mr Wallace and an imposter posing as Ukrainian prime minister Denis Shmyhal, released on Tuesday, Mr Wallace seemingly suggested the UK is “running out of our own” NLAW anti-tank weapons.

Mr Quin told the PA news agency: “We will always have a sufficiency of the weaponry we need to meet our needs, whilst also supporting our friends in Ukraine, which we’ve done very effectively through the provision already of 4,000 anti-tank weapons.”

He added: “We will do what’s right. We speak regularly to the Ukrainian government and we are working very closely with them, not only in the provision of defensive equipment ourselves but also in the convening of donor conferences for both defensive weapons and also for humanitarian support.”

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