Great Britain

Theresa May would be ‘excellent’ Nato chief, says defence minister

The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has thrown his support behind Theresa May to be the next Nato chief.

The former prime minister had been a “fantastic” leader in “really tough” times and was an “excellent” candidate to lead the transatlantic military alliance, he claimed.

The current Nato secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, is due to step down next year after seven years in the role, and discussions behind closed doors are currently under way as to who will replace him.

Ms May has not declared herself as a candidate for the job, but Mr Wallace gave her his support in an interview with the Italian political magazine Formiche.

“Theresa May was a fantastic prime minister in really tough times,” he said.

“I worked with her as the security minister. She would be an excellent candidate.”

He said the government had yet to propose a candidate, saying: “We have a lot of work to do, like in Afghanistan, before we think about this.”

He added: “The UK is one of the main contributors to Nato [and is] the country in Europe that spends the most. Of course, we always want to play a vital role in the alliance. But there are many other nations and what is important for Nato is to work unanimously.”

According to TheSunday Telegraph, the former Conservative Party leader William Hague, the former cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill and Mr Wallace himself are also being discussed as potential British candidates for the role.

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