Gavin Williamson Appointed As New Defence Secretary

Gavin Williamson MP has been appointed as the new Defence Secretary, following the resignation of Sir Michael Fallon.

He has served as the Chief Whip since July 2016 and was elected as MP for South Staffordshire in 2017, and he will now be replaced in the role by MP Julian Smith. 

He was also elected to the Executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and spent three years as co-chairman of the Parliamentary Group on Design, because of his interest in the manufacturing and design sector.

Despite his quick rise through the ranks of the Tory party, Gavin has no real defence experience. 

His appointment comes as something of a surprise after political commentators touted Tobias Ellwood and Penny Mordaunt as Sir Michael's potential replacements. 

In the past, Williamson consistently voted against investigations into the Iraq war, while most Conservative MPs generally voted in favor. 

He has also almost always voted for the use of UK military forces in combat operations and for military action against the so-called Islamic state.

He has consistently voted for replacing Trident with new Nuclear weapons and against strengthening the Military Covenant.

In a statement announcing his resignation, Sir Michael said: "In recent days allegations have been made about MPs' conduct, including my own.

"Many of these have been false, but I realise that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces which I have the privilege to represent.

"I have therefore reflected on my position in Government and I am resigning as Defence Secretary.

"It has been a privilege to have served as Defence Secretary for the last three and half years, and I have nothing but admiration for the professionalism, bravery and service of those men and women who keep us safe."

The shock announcement comes after Sir Michael was caught up in the sexual harassment scandal sweeping Westminster.

It emerged that he had repeatedly put his hand on a journalist's knee during a party conference dinner in 2002. 

More to follow.

Topics: