Gavin Williamson has been appointed defence secretary after the resignation of Sir Michael Fallon.
Mr Williamson is 24 years younger than Mr Fallon and was elected as an MP in 2010. In July 2016, he was appointed Chief Whip in Theresa May’s government.
He has previously received criticism from parliamentary authorities over bringing his pet tarantula Cronus to the Houses of Parliament.
Other potential candidates for the role were understood to be Tobias Ellwood, a defence minister and Penny Mordaunt, a pensions minister.
Yesterday Fallon left the government front bench, saying that his “behaviour in the past may have fallen short.”
Earlier in the month the Minister made front page news when it was revealed he had inappropriately touched journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer‘s knee during a dinner in 2002. Hartley-Brewer recalled that, after Fallon kept putting his hand on her knee, she “calmly and politely explained to him that, if he did it again, I would punch him in the face”.
Shortly after, on the 1st of November 2017, Fallon resigned due to “allegations…about my previous conduct”.
In his resignation letter to May, Fallon said:
“A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct.
Many of these have been false but I accept in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces that I have the honour to represent.
I have reflected on my position and I am now resigning as defence secretary.”
In her reply, the prime minister said:
“I appreciate the characteristically serious manner in which you have considered your position, and the particular example you wish to set to servicemen and women and others.”