Defence Secretary Ben Wallace cuts short holiday as Ukraine crisis worsens

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace cancels his holiday plans  (PA Wire)
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace cancels his holiday plans (PA Wire)

The Defence Secretary has come home early from a family trip this weekend because of the worsening situation in Ukraine.

Ben Wallace, 51, had planned to spend a long weekend abroad with his family at the start of half term.

However, the Secretary of State for Defence announced he was cancelling his holiday plans as tensions between Russia and Ukraine grow.

He tweeted on Sunday: “Having returned from Moscow early on Saturday morning and because we are concerned about the worsening situation in Ukraine I have cancelled a planned long weekend abroad with my family and will be returning.”

The politician has just returned from a visit to Moscow on Saturday morning.

A senior defence source added: “As events worsen the Secretary of State has cut short a planned long weekend with his children for half term.”

Previously, former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab come under fire for staying on his super luxe holiday in Greece amid the Afghanistan crisis.

In a Sunday Times interview, the Defence Secretary said it is “highly likely” Vladimir Putin will order an attack despite the concerted talks to avert war.

Mr Wallace said there is a “whiff of Munich in the air”, in a reference to the agreement that allowed German annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938 but failed to prevent the Second World War.

“It may be that Putin just switches off his tanks and we all go home but there is a whiff of Munich in the air from some in the West,” he added.

There are an estimated 130,000 Russian troops along the Ukraine border.

US President Joe Biden warned Putin an attack would cause “widespread human suffering”.

Sunday morning, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said NATO won’t put up with bullying or threats from Russia.

He told Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “We do want to see a peaceful outcome to this.

“But NATO is very, very clear that it is right that a democratic independent country like Ukraine is allowed to continue as an independent democratic country without this kind of bullying or threats from a state like Russia.”

He went on: “The West working together is very clear that should Russia take a different course of action that there will be reprocussions for that because it cannot be acceptable for an independent state, has that kind of threat put upon it, let alone that kind of incursion.”