Gavin Williamson leadership hopes 'scuppered by affair claims'
Gavin Williamson's hopes of leading the Conservative party have been severely damaged by revelations of an office fling before he became an MP, senior Tory MPs have claimed.
Mr Williamson admitted last week that he had kissed another woman when he was working at a fireplace company.
He described the incident as a "dreadful mistake" but insisted wife Joanne had since forgiven him.
However two Tory colleagues told the Sun he had ruined his chances of a tilt at the top job.
“This is extremely damaging to him in any case but if there was any disciplinary action, he’s in big trouble," one told the paper.
Another added: “He was once Theresa May’s ‘adopted son’ but this virtually guarantees he won’t be leader.”
But a friend of Mr Williamson dismissed claims that the MP was sacked from his job at the fireplace firm after details of the affair became known.
"He was offered the job of operations director to stay. There was no disciplinary process," the source told the Times.
Yesterday he was accused of trying to distract attention from the revelations by giving an interview to the Daily Telegraph where he claimed the Russian government was plotting to disrupt the UK's power supply.
Allies of Mr Williamson said the idea was a "smear" concocted to try to undermine him.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that Mr Williamson had not given away any classified information during the interview.
"We can confirm that the Secretary of State did not release any classified material at any point during discussions with the media.
"There has been no leak of intelligence on this subject from either the Secretary of State or the Ministry of Defence."