72 Facts About Gavin Williamson


Sir Gavin Alexander Williamson was born on 25 June 1976 and is a British politician who most recently served as Minister of State without Portfolio from 25 October to 8 November 2022.


Gavin Williamson has been the Member of Parliament for South Staffordshire since 2010.


Gavin Williamson was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, and was educated at Raincliffe School, Scarborough Sixth Form College and the University of Bradford.


Gavin Williamson was chair of a Conservative student body from 1997 to 1998.


Gavin Williamson served on the North Yorkshire County Council from 2001 to 2005.


Gavin Williamson was elected as MP for South Staffordshire at the 2010 general election.


Gavin Williamson served in David Cameron's governments as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Transport, aiding Patrick McLoughlin, prior to being appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister in October 2013.


Gavin Williamson later served as Secretary of State for Defence from November 2017 to May 2019, when he was dismissed following a leak from the National Security Council; Williamson denied leaking the information about Huawei's potential involvement in the British 5G network.


Gavin Williamson served in the role during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, including times when schools were closed to most children, and was criticised for the 2020 school exam grading controversy.


Gavin Williamson was nominated by Johnson for a knighthood, which he obtained in March 2022.


Gavin Williamson supported Rishi Sunak in his two attempts to become Conservative leader; following Sunak's election in October 2022, he appointed Gavin Williamson as Minister of State without Portfolio.


In November 2022 Gavin Williamson resigned, stating he wanted to clear his name "of any wrongdoing" in relation to allegations, which he "strenuously denied", of him having bullied former Chief Whip Wendy Morton and of bullying behaviour previously during his own tenure as Chief Whip and as Defence Secretary.


Gavin Williamson's father Ray was a local government worker, and his mother Beverly worked in a job centre.


Gavin Williamson attended East Ayton Primary School and for his secondary education, Raincliffe School, a comprehensive.


Gavin Williamson studied A-Levels in History, Economics, and Government and Politics at Scarborough Sixth Form College.


Gavin Williamson was national chair of Conservative Students in 1997, the penultimate chair before it was merged into Conservative Future in 1998.


Gavin Williamson is a former deputy chairman of Staffordshire Area Conservatives, chairman of Stoke-on-Trent Conservative Association and vice-chairman of Derbyshire Dales Conservative Association.


Gavin Williamson had become managing director of Aynsley China, a Staffordshire-based pottery firm by 2005.


Gavin Williamson has worked for NPS North West Limited, an architectural design firm, until he became an MP in 2010.


In January 2010, Gavin Williamson was selected as the Conservative candidate in South Staffordshire for the 2010 general election.


The selection went to five ballots, but in the end Gavin Williamson won over local councillor Robert Light in the final ballot.


Gavin Williamson was elected with a majority of 16,590 votes.


Gavin Williamson made his maiden speech on 8 June 2010, on the same day as Nicky Morgan and Kwasi Kwarteng.


In July 2010, Gavin Williamson called for a new law to allow local authorities to clamp down on car boot sales that disrupted traffic flow, citing villages in his constituency as examples.


Gavin Williamson said that "People want her back in work and they want the Royal Mail to show some common sense and some common decency" and asked the Royal Mail to reinstate her into her old job.


Gavin Williamson was one of several MPs who was absent or abstained on 21 March 2011 vote on supporting UN-backed action in Libya.


In October 2011, Gavin Williamson was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the minister of state for Northern Ireland, Hugo Swire.


Gavin Williamson replaced Conor Burns, who became Owen Paterson's new PPS.


In September 2012, Gavin Williamson became PPS to Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, and in 2013 became PPS to the prime minister, David Cameron.


In Parliament, Gavin Williamson was a member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee and was Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Motor Neurone Disease.


Gavin Williamson supported the United Kingdom's remain campaign during the 2016 EU membership referendum.


Gavin Williamson was appointed Secretary of State for Defence on 2 November 2017 after the resignation of Sir Michael Fallon the preceding evening.


Later that month, Gavin Williamson alleged that the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, in meeting a Czech diplomat during the 1980s, had "betray[ed]" his country.


Gavin Williamson has supported the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis despite concerns from human rights activists and Labour MPs about war crimes allegedly committed by the Saudi military.


On 15 March 2018, in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning, Gavin Williamson answered a question about Russia's potential response to the UK's punitive measures against Russia by saying that "frankly, Russia should go away, and it should shut up".


Major-General Igor Konashenkov, the spokesman of the Russian Defence Ministry, said: "The market wench talk that British defence secretary Gavin Williamson resorted to reflects his extreme intellectual impotency".


In December 2018, Gavin Williamson expressed "grave" and "very deep concerns" about the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei providing technology to upgrade Britain's services to 5G.


Gavin Williamson accused China of acting "sometimes in a malign way".


On 11 February 2019, Gavin Williamson delivered the speech "Defence in Global Britain" at the Royal United Services Institute outlining the future direction of the British armed forces.


On 1 May 2019, Gavin Williamson was asked to resign from his position as Defence Secretary, following the leaking of confidential National Security Council information related to Huawei's potential involvement in the UK's 5G network.


Gavin Williamson refused to resign because he felt this would incriminate him and be seen as an admission that he was responsible for the leak, and was therefore sacked.


Gavin Williamson vehemently denied the allegation, saying that he "swore on his children's lives he was not responsible", and said that a "thorough and formal inquiry" would have vindicated his position.


On 10 November 2022 The Guardian reported when Penny Mordaunt was defence secretary she had to deal with a security leak and the department believed her predecessor, Gavin Williamson caused the leak.


Gavin Williamson worked on Boris Johnson's campaign during the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election.


Gavin Williamson became Secretary of State for Education following Boris Johnson's election as Prime Minister on 24 July 2019.


HuffPost reported that Gavin Williamson's department had drafted legislation to "strengthen academic freedom and free speech in universities".


Gavin Williamson brought forward the legislation, titled the Higher Education Bill, in May 2021.


Gavin Williamson said that exams in that academic year would not go ahead.


On 6 January 2021, Gavin Williamson announced GCSE, AS and A-Level exams would not go ahead for students in the academic year, being replaced with teacher assessed grades.


On 15 September 2021, Gavin Williamson was dismissed as Education Secretary when Johnson reshuffled his cabinet.


The Daily Telegraph reported that Gavin Williamson had repeatedly defended the algorithm method as the fairest way to produce grades avoiding grade inflation, though several Ofqual board members had come to believe the algorithm method had been shown to be politically unacceptable.


On 17 August 2020, Ofqual and Gavin Williamson announced that the algorithm method for calculating A Level results would be abandoned, and teacher assessments would be used instead, after pressure from within the Conservative Party and the claim that they had lost the confidence of the teaching profession.


Gavin Williamson returned to the backbenches after his dismissal as Education Secretary.


Gavin Williamson helped Rishi Sunak gain support among Conservative MPs during his failed leadership bid in the July-September 2022 Conservative Party leadership election.


Gavin Williamson again supported Sunak in the October 2022 Conservative Party leadership election, which he won unopposed.


In October 2022, Gavin Williamson was appointed Minister of State without Portfolio, a cabinet position, by new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.


In one WhatsApp message, Gavin Williamson indicated his frustration that he had not received an invite to the state funeral of Elizabeth II, telling Morton "There is a price for everything", before describing her conduct as "absolutely disgusting".


Gavin Williamson's messages included angry complaints that MPs who were not "favoured" by Liz Truss were being excluded from Queen Elizabeth's funeral.


Labour's Ed Miliband said Gavin Williamson's reappointment was not in the public interest.


On 7 November 2022, The Guardian wrote that a current minister told The Times that Gavin Williamson called her to his office at a time she was campaigning about a politically sensitive matter and raised an issue about her private life "which she interpreted as a tacit threat".


Unnamed "allies" of Gavin Williamson said it was not a threat, but was raised in a "pastoral capacity".


The unnamed source said that Gavin Williamson had "deliberately demeaned and intimidated" them.


The Guardian understood that Gavin Williamson did not deny using "those specific words".


Chair of the Labour Party Anneliese Dodds said Morton's decision to report Gavin Williamson showed a "lack of faith in the Conservative Party complaints process".


Anne Milton told Channel 4 News that Gavin Williamson had used MPs' mental and physical health problems against them, and had collected "salacious gossip" about their "sexual preferences".


An unnamed senior Conservative MP told Sky News it had always been well known that Gavin Williamson was a bully.


Gavin Williamson married Joanne Eland, a former primary school teacher, in 2001.


Gavin Williamson was a trustee of a local Citizen's Advice Bureau, and a school governor.


Gavin Williamson is a patron of the World Owl Trust and while Government Chief Whip kept a Mexican redknee tarantula, which he named Cronus, in his parliamentary office, for which he was criticised by parliamentary authorities in November 2016.


Gavin Williamson discussed the affair in an interview with the Daily Mail which he called a "dreadful mistake".


The Sunday Telegraph reported that Gavin Williamson was the subject of a meeting with managers; he left the firm days later.


On 3 March 2022, Gavin Williamson was gazetted Knight Bachelor as part of the 2022 Special Honours for Political Service.