Johnson appoints controversial 'pro-Iran' defense secretary

“As an MP I have visited Iran more than any other parliamentarian – and the last time I went I did so with Jeremy Corbyn," said Ben Wallace.

Boris Johnson  (photo credit: REUTERS)
Boris Johnson
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Questions are being raised as to whether Boris Johnson is the true friend to Israel that he claims to be, especially after appointing Ben Wallace as his new defense secretary, the Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday.
Johnson was harshly criticized by Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), which described him as someone who “likes to present himself as a friend of Israel, but has appointed a defense secretary who appears anything but.” They added that Wallace’s previous conduct was “utterly shocking.”
Wallace is known to have aligned himself with Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, with whom he visited Iran in 2015. He described Corbyn as “an honest left-winger who genuinely likes people,” and someone from whom others competing in the then-Labour leadership contest “should look to and learn from.”
Wallace is known to have been a frequent visitor to Iran, and even bragged to his constituents that he had visited the Islamic republic more than any other MP.
He claimed in December 2015 that he is “often accused by some of being too pro-Iran, as it is my view that any solution to Syria and Afghanistan needs to include Iran. As an MP I have visited Iran more than any other parliamentarian, and the last time I went I did so with Jeremy Corbyn. Only now, the UK and US seem to be following my position on Iran and I welcome that.”
In January 2014, Wallace was part of a four-man delegation to Tehran, including Corbyn, which met with President Hassan Rouhani.
According to the Chronicle, Wallace wrote the following March that, “Those who think Iran’s desire to enrich is about an A-bomb fail to understand Iran,” adding, “what a coincidence: on the day EU meets Iran president a plethora of Iran conspiracy theories... I wonder who might be puffing these stories.”
Last year he was involved in hindering efforts to totally block the Hezbollah terrorist organization, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
In February 2018, he compared the Labour leader to Kim Philby – a Cold War double agent – in an interview with Andrew Neil on the BBC’s Daily Politics show.
“One can only hope Ben Wallace has changed his mind permanently over his opinion of Mr. Corbyn,” the Chronicle quoted another community source as saying.