UK defense chief to step down, become lawmaker

LONDON—Britain says the head of the country’s armed forces will step down this week and be appointed to the House of Lords.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said Wednesday that Air Chief Marshall Jock Stirrup will leave his job at the end of the week. He will be replaced by Gen. David Richards, formerly head of the British Army and an ex-NATO commander in Afghanistan.

Stirrup, who has served in the post since 2006—overseeing the U.K.’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan—will become a member of the country’s upper chamber. His defense term had not been due to end until April 2011, but was cut short after the new Conservative-led coalition government took office in May.

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