Boris Johnson could be in line for top Nato job, say Conservative allies

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (PA Wire)

Boris Johnson could be set for another high profile political position, with senior Conservatives backing him to be the next secretary general of Nato.

Incumbent Jens Stoltenberg is widely expected to stand down in September next year - about 12 months after the prime minister leaves his role.

The Nato job, which is appointed unanimously by member countries, has also seen former prime ministers David Cameron and Theresa May linked to it as well as defence secretary Ben Wallace.

Mr Johnson would need to step down as an MP from his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat if he was to take the position. He has not yet made an announcement as to what he will do after leaving office, although insiders have said a return to writing a column for the Telegraph is unlikely.

Nato secretary genera’s typically take the role on a four year term, although former Norwegian prime minister Mr Stoltenberg has seen his time extended due to the war in Ukraine. He has been serving in the role since 2014.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson resignation from inside Downing Street

(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street )
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street )
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
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(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street )
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street )
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street )
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(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street )
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
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(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
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(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street / Avalon)
(Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street / Avalon)

The job involves coordinating the workings and communications within the alliance but bears no military command, with member states needing to themselves decide on whether to take action in a conflict.

Top Tories Richard Drax and Mark Francois, who are both on the defence select committee, have made the case for Mr Johnson. They agreed that a British candidate could be favourable for relations with the US as well as their removal from discussions around an EU army.

Mr Drax told the Telegraph: “Any distinguished Brit would be a great choice. If indeed that is what Boris Johnson wants to go and do, of course I would support that.”

Mr Francois added: “People will probably argue over Boris Johnson’s legacy for years – but one thing which is clearly inarguable is his absolutely staunch support for Ukraine in the face of Russian barbarity.”

However, Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army said he would not back Mr Johnson because of his “character,” while French president Emmanuel Macron could also veto the nomination.

The Prime Minister’s office has not commented.

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