Gavin Williamson replaces Michael Fallon as defence secretary

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Media captionNew Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson arrives on the MoD

Chief Whip Gavin Williamson has been appointed as the brand new defence secretary after Sir Michael Fallon’s resignation.

Sir Michael stop on Wednesday saying his previous behaviour could have “fallen short” of the requirements anticipated by the UK army.

He turned the primary politician to stop following not too long ago revealed claims of badual harbadment in Parliament.

South Staffordshire MP Mr Williamson, 41, stated he was “both honoured and excited” by the promotion.

He has been changed as chief bad by his former deputy, Julian Smith, who will now be answerable for imposing get together self-discipline within the Commons. Mr Smith’s deputy will probably be Tatton MP – and former GMTV presenter – Esther McVey.

In a press release, Mr Williamson stated he was “determined to ensure that the armed forces receive the recognition they deserve for the great work they do, including through the Armed Forces Covenant, and that they evolve both to meet the changing threats that we face and to ensure that they properly represent the modern society that they defend”.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg stated that whereas Mr Williamson was seen as an efficient operator some Conservatives had been livid that an MP with no ministerial expertise had been promoted to the cupboard.

One senior Conservative advised her: “MPs are deeply unhappy he has used the position of chief bad to benefit himself and has deserted his post at such a crucial time”.

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Media captionSome MPs ‘livid’ at Gavin Williamson appointment

One Tory MP, Sarah Wollaston, advised BBC Radio four’s World at One that Penny Mordaunt and Tobias Ellwood had been potential options including: “These are decisions that are made through patronage. Part of the role of the chief bad is to advise the prime minister about the suitability of the candidate.”

But Conservative MP Bob Stewart – a former Army colonel – described Mr Williamson as a “decent, calm man… he’s also a very thoughtful man”.

“He won’t know much about defence but I believe the civil service in the Ministry of Defence, the generals and the Armed Forces themselves won’t mind that too much because he’s the sort of person that will listen carefully, take advice but then make his own decision.”

Battles forward for Williamson

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale

Gavin Williamson has no army background and has by no means been a secretary of state. But he’s youthful, a rising star and trusted by Number 10.

He arrives on the Ministry of Defence at a troublesome time. His first problem will probably be to attempt to stave off extra defence cuts. The Cabinet Office is at the moment finishing up a defence and safety evaluation which is because of report by the tip of the 12 months.

All three providers have been requested to place ahead choices for cuts. Although there was a modest rise within the MoD’s price range, it has nonetheless bought to make greater than £20bn of effectivity financial savings.

There’s additionally stress to fund a rise in pay for the armed forces. They’ve been scuffling with each recruitment and retention. That additionally hasn’t been helped by a political reluctance to place troops in hurt’s approach – one thing they practice for.

There continues to be unfinished enterprise in opposition to so-called Islamic State and Gavin Williamson would be the man who now oversees the RAF airstrikes. Few contained in the army or the MoD will know a lot about him – even fewer on the worldwide stage.

The prime minister’s official spokesman stated Mr Williamson was not concerned in reshuffle discussions, and stated he was “an excellent and hard-working chief bad and the prime minister thinks he will make an excellent defence secretary”.

“The PM is confident in the operation of the bads’ office during her premiership.”

In his resignation letter, Sir Michael Fallon stated a variety of allegations that had surfaced about MPs, together with himself, had been false, however added: “I accept that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the Armed Forces that I have the honour to represent.”

Who is Gavin Williamson?

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Image caption

Gavin Williamson retains a tarantula – not this one – on his desk

  • 41 years previous
  • Married with two kids
  • Born close to Scarborough
  • Ran a Staffordshire pottery enterprise earlier than coming into Parliament
  • MP South Staffordshire since 2010 and was Parliamentary aide to ex-PM David Cameron
  • Chief bad – answerable for get together self-discipline – since July 2016
  • Keeps a pet tarantula referred to as Cronus on his desk at Westminster
  • Also a patron of the World Owl Trust and has constructed a home for hedgehogs in his backyard
  • Read a full profile of Gavin Williamson
  • Recap: Reaction to announcement

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson stated Sir Michael had a file to be pleased with as defence secretary.

“I’ve known Michael for many years,” he stated.

“He has been a great colleague and a great defence secretary.”

Asked by the BBC if his personal behaviour had all the time been of an ordinary anticipated of cupboard ministers, Mr Johnson replied: “You bet.”


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