After Michael Fallon resigned as UK Defense Secretary on Wednesday, Theresa May has replaced him with an MP few outside Westminster have ever heard of. So who is the new man?
Mr. Williamson, appointed as the new Defense Secretary, was invited to Downing Street on Thursday, November 3, and given the job following the resignation of Michael Fallon.
Fallon had admitted touching a female journalist’s knee during a conference dinner 15 years ago. His admission came as the British parliament has been engulfed in a sexual harassment and misconduct scandal and Mr. Fallon later said his conduct had “fallen short” of the standard required of a minister.
So who is the newly appointed member of May’s cabinet?
Mr. Williamson has been Conservative MP for South Staffordshire in the English Midlands since 2010 and has a majority of 22,733.
He is only 41 but has played several key roles behind the scenes since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.
Mr. Williamson was parliamentary private secretary to then Prime Minister David Cameron between October 2013 and his resignation in July 2016, after the Brexit referendum.
Former Chief Whip, Future PM?
He was then appointed Chief Whip, a role which became even more important in June this year when after a largely unsuccessful election campaign, Mrs. May lost her majority and was forced to rely on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from Northern Ireland to keep a working majority.
Mr. Williamson was head of the whips, whose job it was to make sure Tory MPs towed the party line. He has impressed Mrs. May enough for her to promote him to Defense Secretary as a safe pair of hands.
The choice of Mr. Williamson is something of a surprise as he has no military background and several political pundits had expected Mrs. May to choose Penny Mordaunt, a former armed forces minister who comes from a Royal Navy family.
The social media users have instantly reacted to the new appointment, with some even tipping Mr. Williamson as the future Prime Minister.
Mr. Williamson arrived at the Ministry of Defense on Thursday morning to meet military chiefs but did not speak to reporters.