Tory leadership favourite Ben Wallace pulls out of race to 'focus on keeping UK safe'

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The Defence Secretary was one of the high-profile names tipped to throw his hat into the leadership ring alongside former Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

But despite feeling “grateful” to those who “pledged support” to him, Mr Wallace said he wished to maintain his focus on his “current job”.

He wrote on Twitter: “After careful consideration and discussing with colleagues and family, I have taken the decision not to enter the contest for leadership of the Conservative Party.

“I am very grateful to all my parliamentary colleagues and wider members who have pledged support.”

He added: “It has not been an easy choice to make, but my focus is on my current job and keeping this great country safe.

“I wish the very best of luck to all candidates and hope we swiftly return to focusing on the issues that we are all elected to address.”

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