Fury mounts over Joe Biden's 'extremely disappointing' blocking of Ben Wallace as next Nato chief | The Sun

TORY MPs today slammed US President Joe Biden over his "extremely disappointing" choice to block Ben Wallace from being Nato's next chief.

Rishi Sunak had lobbied Mr Biden, 80, to back the Defence Secretary when he visited the White House two weeks ago.

But as exclusively revealed by The Sun, the White House nonetheless blocked Britain's bid for Nato leadership.

Former Defence Minister Mark Francois told The Sun: “As America is supposed to be our strongest ally, their decision not to back Ben Wallace is extremely disappointing.

"It seems the ‘special relationship’ is actually not so special after all.”

Current Armed Forces Minister James Heappey praised the Defence Secretary as "one of life's good-un's".


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He told LBC: "Ben would have been a fantastic Secretary-General.

"The race isn't entirely over yet. But I think it's clear that it may not be Ben at this stage."

Mr Heappey added: "The only upside is that our nation, of course, gets to continue having him as our Secretary of State for Defence, which is a pretty good thing."

Downing Street on Thursday refused to say whether Mr Sunak was disappointed to see Mr Wallace exit the running.

A spokesman for the PM said the Defence Secretary's focus would "continue to be on protecting our national security and supporting Ukraine".

They added: "The Prime Minister has made clear the great job the Defence Secretary is doing and will continue to do."

Mr Wallace, a former Army officer, was among the favourites to succeed current chief Jens Stoltenberg after rallying global support for Ukraine and leading the charge on weapon donations.

Poland and eastern Nato states were among his biggest backers.

But it's understood Mr Biden wants Mr Stoltenberg to stay in the job for at least another year.

There is no formal process for picking the leader but it was due to be announced at a Nato summit next month.

America’s top diplomat Anthony Blinken said the US and Britain were “in full alignment…on virtually everything” when he jetted into London this week.

He said: “We simply could not ask for a better partner than the United Kingdom.”

But on Nato’s next leader he added: “When it comes to the secretary general of Nato, we’re not pushing, promoting any particular candidate."

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A US official praised Mr Stoltenberg as “an outstanding leader” who had strengthened the 31-nation alliance.

They said: “It is too early in the process to speculate on who the United States will support to serve as the next Nato Secretary General.”

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