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Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson: Judge me on the job I do

By Pete Madeley | Staffordshire | Politics | Published:

Gavin Williamson has hit back at critics who have branded him too inexperienced to be the Defence Secretary, insisting: "Judge me on the job I do."

South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson has called on his critics to judge him on his achievements as Defence Secretary

The former Chief Whip came in for criticism after he was handed the key Cabinet post by Theresa May following the resignation of his predecessor Michael Fallon.

Opponents of the South Staffordshire MP accused him of effectively persuading the Prime Minister to give him the job, while others have argued that he was chosen ahead of better qualified candidates.

Speaking exclusively to the Express & Star, South Staffordshire MP Mr Williamson insisted that he would be 'a strong voice' for Britain's armed forces in Westminster.

He also defended Mrs May's record at Number 10, describing her as 'utterly selfless' and committed to delivering the very best for the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May - 'selfless'

Mr Williamson said: "The Prime Minister chooses her Cabinet. I am extremely humbled and honoured to have this job.

"You are always going to get criticism in any job. I just hope that people judge me on the job I do.

"I don’t want to be a general, an admiral or an air marshal. We already have brilliant ones of those.

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"I want to be the one who is standing up for them. I want to be the person who is there to fight their corner in the world of politics and be a strong voice for them at the Cabinet table.

"I want to make sure they have everything they need, be it the best equipment, the best training.

"There will be times when they need politicians to stand up for them. I will be that politician."

Mr Williamson was appointed Defence Secretary on November 2, following Mr Fallon's decision to step down after admitting his behaviour towards women in the past had 'fallen short'.

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Michael Fallon quit as Defence Secretary after claims of inappropriate behaviour

He had been appointed as Chief Whip by Theresa May in July 2016, having played a major role in her successful leadership campaign.

Prior to that he served as David Cameron's Parliamentary Private Secretary.

Describing Mrs May as an 'inspiration', Mr Williamson said: "I have been extremely lucky to have worked with two Prime Ministers incredibly closely.

"I have worked under Theresa May as Chief Whip and now Defence Secretary and you can see someone who is incredibly motivated by public service and duty to the nation.

"She is utterly selfless and committed to deliver what is best for this country. I have never seen anyone who works so hard, and always with the aim of doing what is right for this country. She never gets enough credit."

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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