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Britain backs outgoing Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte to be the next Nato chief after Ben Wallace is snubbed for the job


  • No 10 said Rutte has ‘serious defence and security credentials’ to be next chief

Britain has given its backing to outgoing Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte to be the next Nato chief.

After Ben Wallace was snubbed for the job, No 10 said Mr Rutte has ‘serious defence and security credentials’ to be the alliance’s next secretary-general.

Nato is looking to appoint a successor to Jens Stoltenberg, who by October will have been in the job for a decade.

Mr Rutte, the Netherlands’ longest-serving premier, announced in July he would leave politics following the collapse of his coalition government.

He has remained caretaker prime minister while talks over establishing a new government in the aftermath of the country’s November elections drag on.

Britain has given its backing to outgoing Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte to be the next Nato chief

Britain has given its backing to outgoing Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte to be the next Nato chief 

After Ben Wallace was snubbed for the job, No 10 said Mr Rutte has 'serious defence and security credentials' to be the alliance's next secretary-general

After Ben Wallace was snubbed for the job, No 10 said Mr Rutte has ‘serious defence and security credentials’ to be the alliance’s next secretary-general

Britain's former Prime Minister, David Cameron, leaves 10, Downing Street after being appointed Foreign Secretary in November last year

Britain’s former Prime Minister, David Cameron, leaves 10, Downing Street after being appointed Foreign Secretary in November last year

Nato is looking to appoint a successor to Jens Stoltenberg, who by October will have been in the job for a decade

Nato is looking to appoint a successor to Jens Stoltenberg, who by October will have been in the job for a decade

Rishi Sunak’s spokesman said Mr Rutte had the UK’s backing. 

The Dutch leader ‘is well respected across the alliance, has serious defence and security credentials, and will ensure that the alliance remains strong and ready to defend and deter,’ the spokesman added.

Reports suggest US President Joe Biden has also endorsed Mr Rutte, with about two-thirds of Nato’s 31 member states said to back his candidacy.

Mr Stoltenberg had his tenure extended by a year in July, with Nato leaders opting to keep him in place in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

His successor will be handed the task of ensuring Nato support for Kyiv remains resilient while keeping the alliance out of a direct fight with Moscow.

Former defence secretary Mr Wallace had hoped to take the role but faced resistance from Mr Biden and France.



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