Gavin Alexander Williamson (born 25 June 1976) is a British Conservative politician. He was the Secretary of State for Education in the government of Boris Johnson and was Secretary of State for Defence from 2017 to May 2019 in the government of Theresa May. He was dismissed on 1 May 2019 after a leak from the National Security Council; Williamson denied leaking the information. Appointed by Rishi Sunak as Minister of State without Portfolio in October 2022, he resigned in the following month over his alleged bullying of colleagues. Williamson has been the MP for South Staffordshire since 2010.
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- [Williamson speaking to The Telegraph.] Everyone is obsessed with Palmerston and Larry the cat, but in the Whip’s office we have a proper pet. I’ve had Cronus since he was a spider-ling, so I have a very paternal sort of approach. It’s very much the same sort of love and care that I give to my spider as I give to all MPs.
- Kate McCann "Theresa May's new eight legged enforcer is Cronus the giant spider" The Telegraph (London, 19 November 2016).
- It’s often described as a cool war that we are entering – I would say it is feeling exceptionally chilly at the moment.
- Said about relations between the UK and Russia. Quoted by Reaction Life. Gavin Williamson’s schoolboy rhetoric shames this government (15 March 2018)
- We are always influenced by the work that we do. Having worked in manufacturing you are always inspired by it, whether it’s the design that goes into products, the production, the science, the technology.
- Quoted by the Telegraph. Gavin Williamson: Education should revive 'Victorian spirit of ingenuity' (30 August 2019)
- Every parent wants to know their child is getting a great education and I will leave no stone unturned in my drive to deliver that.
- Quoted by the Guardian. Outstanding schools to lose exemption from Ofsted inspections (1 September 2019)
- All children should be in school and not out protesting and anyone who says otherwise is being very irresponsible.
- Said during the September 2019 climate strikes. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson calls #YouthStrike4Climate protests 'grossly irresponsible' (20 September 2019)
- They [school strikers] should be learning, they shouldn't be bunking off and it's very irresponsible for people to encourage children to do so.
Quotes about Williamson
- In alphabetical order according to author or source.
- Could be juvenile, he could be ridiculous, he could be horrid and at times he wore his ambitions too brazenly and revelled too much in the dark arts and his reputation for skulduggery. Despite the pithy name-calling, brutal caricatures and wild accusations levelled against him, there is a good person under Gavin’s Machiavellian facade. But if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. And he appreciates that more than most.
- Said by Rob Colledge, a former adviser to Williamson. Quoted by the Guardian. Gavin Williamson accuses No 10 of anonymous smears
- I am delighted that a new secretary of state for education was not just educated within the state system but attended a comprehensive school.
- Michael Rosen "Dear Gavin Williamson, I hope you’re not thinking of using education as a way of recreating a Victorian society" The Guardian (27 August 2019).
- Natural justice demands that the evidence be produced so his reputation can be salvaged - or utterly destroyed!
- Said by Desmond Swayne after Theresa May did not launch an inquiry into the National Security Council leak for which Williamson was sacked. Quoted in the Mirror. Gavin Williamson's infamous quote turned against him as top Tory tells him to 'shut up' (2 May 2019)