Ben Wallace (politician)

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Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace MP face on detailed GE 15 Wyre and Preston North.jpg
Government Whip
Assumed office
15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Member of Parliament
for Wyre and Preston North
Lancaster and Wyre (2005-2010)
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Hilton Dawson
Majority 15,844 (30.9%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for North East Scotland
In office
6 May 1999 – 1 May 2003
Personal details
Born (1970-05-15) 15 May 1970 (age 44)
Farnborough, Kent, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Liza, née Cooke[1]
Alma mater Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Occupation Politician
Profession Army Officer
Religion Anglican
Awards Mentioned in Despatches
Military service
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1991–1998
Rank Captain
Unit Scots Guards

Robert Ben Lobban Wallace (born 15 May 1970), known as Ben Wallace, is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wyre and Preston North since the 2010 General Election, having been the MP for Lancaster and Wyre from 2005 to 2010.

Early life and career[edit]

Wallace was born at Farnborough, Kent moving to Somerset with his parents almost immediately when his father started work for Clarks Shoes. Wallace attended Millfield School studying politics under the late Clive Thomas who also taught Julian Smith MP and Margot James MP.[2] After school Wallace qualified as an Austrian ski instructor and taught in the village of Alpbach, Tyrol for two seasons. During that period his parents moved to Pennsylvania in the United States where they lived for 7 years.

Military career[edit]

At the age of 19 Wallace attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, before being commissioned as a platoon commander into the Scots Guards. During his nine-year military service Ben Wallace served in Germany, Windsor, Cyprus and Central America. In addition he served on operational tours in Northern Ireland. In 1992 he was mentioned in despatches for the capture of a Provisional IRA ASU in west Belfast. He later returned to Northern Ireland to work as an intelligence officer. Ben Wallace's last post was as Company Commander of F Company Scots Guards.

In 2003 Ben Wallace joined British aerospace company, QinetiQ as their overseas business development director. During his employment he worked with a number of overseas Government security agencies.

Political career[edit]

Scottish Parliament[edit]

After leaving the Army, he became in 1999 a Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament as a list MSP for North East Scotland, before standing down in 2003. He was the Scottish Conservatives shadow Health spokesman during that time. From 2003 to 2005 he was overseas director of QinetiQ, the UK's part-privatised National Defence Laboratory.[2]

UK Parliament[edit]

Wallace took Lancaster and Wyre Constituency from Labour in 2005. The election result saw a 481 vote (0.92%) Labour majority swing to a 4171 vote (8.00%) Conservative majority. The overall swing was 4.50% from Labour to Conservative. This constituency was number nine on the 2005 Conservative 'target list'[citation needed].

From 2005 to 2010 Wallace was a member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.[3] From 2006 to 2010 Wallace was the Shadow Minister of State for Scotland. He has been Chairman of the British–Iran Parliamentary Group since 2006. The Rt Hon Jack Straw has joined the APPG as co Chair[citation needed].

On 13 November 2008, Wallace was elected Campaigner of the Year in the Spectator/Threadneedle Parliamentarian awards, for his work promoting transparency of MPs expenses[citation needed]. In conjunction with the Sunday Times in February 2008 Ben Wallace MP published all his expenses and receipts.

Following his re-election to Parliament, Wallace was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, and then Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet Office, Ken Clarke MP[citation needed].

On 4 September 2012, Wallace turned down a position as a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury during the Cameron ministry reshuffle.[citation needed] in order to remain Clarke's PPS.[4] In July 2014 as the Rt.Hon Ken Clarke QC MP returned to the back benches Wallace was again offered a job in Government as a whip. This time he accepted.

Personal life[edit]

In 2001, he married Liza and they have three children. Wallace currently resides near Lancaster. He enjoys rugby, skiing and motorsport. He is currently a member of the Queens Bodyguard for Scotland, the Royal Archers.[citation needed]


External links[edit]

News articles
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hilton Dawson
Member of Parliament for Lancaster and Wyre
Constituency Abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Wyre and Preston North