Gavin Williamson

Defence Secretary Says Prime Minister Has His 'Full Support'

The Defence Secretary says the Prime Minister has his full support, as Theresa May faces a vote of no confidence.

Gavin Williamson

The Defence Secretary is backing the Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of a vote of no confidence in Westminster tonight.

Gavin Williamson made the comments in an interview with Forces News.

Speaking to Forces News yesterday he said:

"We've got a Prime Minister who has a strength and a solidity that actually few other politicians have and she is going out there, is doing everything, and will continue to do everything she can do to deliver on the referendum result and she has mine, and I'm sure, all of my colleagues absolute 100% backing and she is the Prime Minister we are all behind and I very much hope that she'll go on for a very long time into the future."

The Defence Secretary did not confirm whether he would put himself forward for the top job should a Conservative Party leadership contest be announced.

The Secretary of State has spent just over a year at the top of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), and maintains Brexit drama does not detract from the Department’s ability to focus on military matters.

Speaking to Laura Makin-Isherwood, Mr Williamson also promised the long-awaited Modernising Defence Programme will be delivered before MPs break for Christmas:

He expressed his support again in a tweet on Wednesday:

The prime minister, Theresa May, is to face a challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party. 

The Chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, has confirmed enough Tory MPs have written to him to trigger a vote of no confidence.

It is a straightforward majority vote which will decide Mrs May's future, if she wins then the rules state there can't be another confidence vote within the next 12 months, if she loses then initially she'll remain in her position but the hunt for a new leader, and consequently a new Prime Minister will begin.

A number of people in the party have been unhappy with her strategy over Brexit.

The Prime Minister spoke outside No. 10 - saying changing Conservative leader now would put the country's future at risk and create uncertainty:

"when we can least afford it".

It's understood that the leadership contest could be accelerated, putting a new Tory leader in place by mid-January, but before that Theresa May would have to lose the ballot tonight.