The UK defence secretary surprised the world yesterday with his childish response to Russia. Gavin Williams, now notoriously, told the Kremlin to “go away and shut up.”
However, it turns out playground antics are just Williamson’s thing. Footage uncovered from five years ago shows just how far the ex-chief whip has come – and perhaps quite how unprepared he is for his role. Williamson went from pottery industry boss to Tory whip (keeping MPs in check) after his 2010 election. But, when Prime Minister Theresa May was losing control of the cabinet in 2017, Williamson was propelled into a portfolio of his own.
He now has one of the most important jobs in the country – but critics have often reeled over his appropriateness for the job, or lack thereof. Footage from five years ago has revealed just how quickly he rose through the ranks of the Tory party. Speaker John Bercow ticked off Williamson, then David Cameron’s Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS), telling him in 2013 his job was just to “nod and carry notes.”
”His role is to nod his head in the appropriate places, and to fetch and carry notes – no noise required,” Bercow admonished Williamson in his typical fashion for being noisy just as PMQs was getting underway.
This week Williamson spoke out about Russia after Theresa May revealed sanctions on Russia. The PM revealed the raft of measures in the wake of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
She expelled 23 diplomats and canceled Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to the UK. But, when it came to Williamson – he had other ideas on dealing with the Kremlin. In a press conference the defense boss said Moscow should “shut up and go away” – despite there being no evidence of Russian involvement in the alleged use of Novochik against Skripal.
“Frankly, Russia should go away and shut up. But if they do respond to the action we have taken we’ll consider it carefully and we’ll look at our options. But it would be wrong to pre-judge their response,” Williamson said.
Williamson made the remarks during his first keynote speech since being appointed last year. During his address, the minister announced that the UK is to construct a £48 million (US$66.8 million) chemical weapons defense center to tackle what he claims is a growing threat from Russia and North Korea. However he was ridiculed for it.
Defence secretary, Gavin Williamson: “Frankly, Russia should go away and shut up.” Good to know we’re ruled by Sensible Grown-ups, eh.
— Dawn Foster (@DawnHFoster) March 15, 2018
I have a sinking feeling that when still in short pants #gavinwilliamson often told older boys to “shut up” and then ran for the protection of his mum.
— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) March 15, 2018
Winston Churchill: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds”
JFK: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for you country”
Gavin Williamson: “Russia should go away and shut up”
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) March 16, 2018
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