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The best candidates for the next Defence Secretary

It’s quite a surprise to be hearing about the Sir Michael Fallon’s resignation as Defence Secretary, personally over the past three years I’ve had nothing to complain about in terms of Fallon’s career in Government, only that he supported the Remain campaign and I’m a Brexiteer. However while this article may feature him for the obvious contextual reasons, I’m more inclined to discuss who could take over.

There’s no doubt that the fate of the current Conservative Government is on a knife edge, after Theresa May failed to win a majority in her snap election there’s a great amount of uncertainty over who’s coming and who’s going.

For a while I’ve debated with myself on whether Theresa May should resign, but one thing I’ve always been set in my ways about is that a cabinet re-shuffle is completely necessary. I hate to drag Brexit into almost all of my political reasoning as of late, but since the 2016 Leadership election I’ve wanted many more Brexiteers in Government as I’ve had no confidence in the likes of Philip Hammond and Damian Green. I guess that’s why in some morbid way I’m glad of the current situation (obviously disregarding the causation behind it) because it’s almost as if the bullet has been bitten at last and we were just waiting for someone to pull the trigger.

This resignation may or may not lead to a complete cabinet re-shuffle. Theresa May could possibly see this as her opportunity to do so without looking weak to her opposition, but it does open up doors (one at least: Def Sec). So who would my choices be for the replacement? After all, I’m currently a candidate awaiting to enter military service so who do I want to be my next boss? (After HM the Queen of course). In no order of preference.

James Cleverly:

  • MP for Braintree since 2015.
  • Former Member of the London Assembly.
  • A Lt Col in the Territorial Army, Royal artillery.

I spoke to James Cleverly at the conference this year, he seemed like a very nice guy who could easily chat with servicemen and women and listen to their concerns. Not to mention it’d be another Brexiteer in the Cabinet.

Johnny Mercer:

  • MP for Plymouth Moor View since 2015.
  • Former Captain in the Army with service in Afghanistan.
  • Member of the Defence Select Committee.

Although Johnny had never even voted before being elected to parliament, he ran on the basis of wanting to improve care for Veterans and encouraging talk on mental health. He has been outspoken on the likes of IHAT and could easily listen to the problems and concerns of Servicemen/women and push to bring about change. Initially supporting Remain, he now feels the need to see Brexit through properly, regardless of his opinion on the EU. I’d gladly serve with him in the Office.

The pattern between Mercer and Cleverly is that they’re new blood and have/are serving. I’d rather see fresher faces in the cabinet than the same dried out faces of career politicians at each election. However, I do have once exception, another person I met at the conference who I discussed my application with and I’m sure needs no introduction as everyone almost certainly knows him but…

Iain Duncan-Smith:(bear with me here)

  • MP for Chingford and Woodford Green since 1992.
  • Former Party Leader.
  • Has been in the shadow cabinet and government with William Hague and David Cameron.
  • Former Lt in the Army, serving with the Scots guards during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

While many may disagree with me here, I do believe that his appointment could potentially save Theresa May’s career for now. He is a staunch Brexiteer, helping out the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign, and is a well-known figure in the party. Although his leadership tenure was short due to backbench plots, I like to think the dust may have settled over the past 14 years and the party could get a good boost of morale with such a prominent figure back in the Cabinet.

There are other suitable options of course. Rory Stewart, perhaps without recognising last weeks comments on returning British Jihadis as pointlessly PC as that sounds. Ruth Davidson who was in the TA and now leads the Scottish Conservatives. But it’s all a matter of opinion, which at the end of the day will end with the say of the Prime Minister.

About Adam Cornett

Profile photo of Adam Cornett

Adam is a young Conservative activist who recently studied Literature at Bury College and is now attending Hopwood Hall in his hometown of Middleton in Manchester. He is currently doing Uniformed Public Services.
Adam is currently a candidate for Royal Military Academy Sandhurst with the hopes of a leading military career in the Army. He is a firm believer in core British values, a young Brexiteer, and an opponent of Socialism.

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One comment

  1. Profile photo of Isaac Anderson

    I’d agree Adam that the new Defence Secretary needs to be an ex-serviceman (or woman). I don’t know much about Mercer, but I do like what I hear from Cleverly. As you say, they’d both be new and exciting for the Cabinet, if May was thinking of putting the future of the nation as her No. 1 goal.

    If surviving is the main goal (and that is not necessarily automatically wrong – if she survives she can then put the nation first), then I’d agree that IDS would be the better choice – especially if Osborne is becoming an increasing threat.

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