Ben Wallace had been the defense secretary of the United Kingdom for the last several years. Wallace would receive high praise from many in the position. His tenure stretched across three different prime ministers and two monarchs.

But Wallace announced a few weeks ago that he would be stepping away from his secretarial role. And from his duties in the House of Commons altogether. After much speculation, a successor to Wallace is now in place.

Shapps gets the nod

Grant Shapps is the new secretary of defense in the United Kingdom. It makes for the fifth secretary post that he has been appointed to.

To take his new job, he vacated the energy and net zero secretary role.

"I am looking forward to working with the brave men and women of our Armed Forces," Shapps said after his appointment. He also pledged to continue the country's support for Ukraine following the invasion by Russia.

Shapps first ran for office in 1990. In that case, it was an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Manchester City Council. Four years later, he made a run for membership of the Brent London Borough Council. Again, it was unsuccessful.

His first run for the House of Commons would yield similar results. That occurred in the no-longer-existent Constituency of North Southwark and Bermondsey in 1997. Shapps finished in a distant third place.

Simon Hughes, future deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, emerged as the winner. Yet another try came up short in 2001. Shapps stood as a House of Commons candidate in Welwyn Hatfield. He lost to Labour Party incumbent Melanie Johnson.

But in a 2005 re-match, Shapps finally broke through., defeating Johnson by a significant margin.

He has been re-elected four times since then, on each occasion by a landslide. In 2007, he was named a shadow minister.

After the Conservative Party won governing control in 2010, he was appointed to a ministerial role. Two years later, Prime Minister David Cameron appointed him as co-chairman of the Conservative Party. Shapps held a couple of other posts as a minister before returning to the backbenches.

In 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed him as transport secretary. After a short time out of the Cabinet, Prime Minister Liz Truss named him home secretary in 2022. But his time in that role would be uniquely brief.

Rishi Sunak, the next prime minister, initially gave Shapps the business, energy, and industrial strategy secretarial office. Soon, he was moved to the newly-created post on energy and net zero.

Coutinho was promoted to secretary

The BBC notes that Claire Coutinho is filling Shapps' vacancy as secretary for energy and net zero. Coutinho was elected to the House of Commons in 2019. She represents the Constituency of East Surrey.

For a short time, she served as a Parliamentary under-secretary for disabled people, health, and work under Truss. Prime Minister Sunak would move her to under-secretary for children, families, and wellbeing.