Former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson backs Boris Johnson to be next Tory leader

Posted On: 
23rd May 2019

Ex-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has revealed he is backing Boris Johnson to be the next Tory leader and Prime Minister.

Gavin Williamson and Boris Johnson while both were serving as Cabinet ministers
PA Images

Mr Williamson was sacked earlier this month after a Whitehall probe found him guilty of leaking details from a National Security Council meeting.

The former frontbencher later said he had been “tried by a kangaroo court” as he denied giving out the information, relating to Theresa May’s decision to give Huawei a role in developing the UK's 5G network.

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His latest intervention comes as Theresa May faces being ousted as Prime Minister within days.

Speaking to the Express and Star, Mr Williamson branded the former Foreign Secretary “the one who can deliver change for both the Conservative Party and the country”.

“I will be enthusiastically backing him and very much hope I can play a small role in making sure that his name is the one that the party chooses as leader,” he added.

“The bottom line is that the only person who can deliver Brexit and defeat Labour is Boris Johnson.”

Mr Johnson, who served as London mayor from 2008 to 2016, last night received the backing of Tory rising star Johnny Mercer, as the ex-soldier ruled himself out of the race.

Mr Mercer instead vowed to team up with his colleague to try to "inspire the party" to chart a "one-nation" course.

“It's very clear to me that there is one individual that we can go forward and sort of try and govern from the centre/centre-right as a one nation Tory," he told ITV’s Peston programme.

“And that is Boris Johnson... I've had many conversations with him. We're going to try and do it together.”

The Prime Minister is set to meet Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, tomorrow, who will reportedly urge her to resign.

It is understood that if she refuses, the committee will bring forward internal rule changes that will force a no-confidence vote and subsequently her exit within weeks.