Gavin Williamson CBE MP

Gavin Williamson Compared To House Of Cards' Francis Urquhart

The Defence Secretary was likened to the fictional character as he was urged to elicit extra cash from the Treasury for defence...

Gavin Williamson CBE MP

Gavin Williamson was likened to House Of Cards character Francis Urquhart as he was urged to elicit extra cash from the Treasury for defence.

Labour's Nia Griffith made the comparison as she called on the Defence Secretary to use his "sophisticated tactics" to persuade Chancellor Philip Hammond to agree to a funding boost.

Ms Griffith, after making the comparison, said:

"With ministers arguing in recent weeks that defence spending should rise north of 2.5%, can the Secretary of State tell us what sophisticated tactics he will be using to get the Chancellor to agree?"

At present, the Government has a military spending target of 2% of GDP, set as the target for all members of NATO.

An increase to 2.5% would mean spending an extra £7.7 billion a year on defence.

Mr Williamson, first addressing the Urquhart comparison, said: "As a Yorkshireman born and bred, we tend to be sort of quite blunt and plain speaking, so sophistication is not usually something that is attached to us."

The Defence Secretary was at that point interrupted by Shipley MP Philip Davies, who shouted "speak for yourself" - drawing laughter from across the chamber, Mr Williamson responded, adding that "they're different in West Yorkshire".

He continued:

"We're taking the time to look at the threat, we're looking at the challenges that this nation faces over the last 10 years, we've seen the threat picture change so much and it's not just something that we've noticed but, when you're sat with NATO allies, we are all seeing exactly the same.

"The world is getting increasingly more dangerous, with state actors playing an ever greater role, it's right that we look at that closely, making sure that our armed forces have the equipment, have the resources that they need to defend this nation against those threats."