Gaffe-prone Gavin Williamson’s finest moments as he’s sacked by Theresa May

Gavin Williamson has always been seen as an oddball in Westminster.

Polite, friendly and enthusiastic, his Scarborough accent was different from the cut-glass voices of many Tories.

He kept his pet tarantula Cronus in his office and boasted about the usefulness of a sharpened carrot in maintaining discipline in party ranks.

But these quirks hid a fierce ambition that, he believed, could propel him all the way to No10.

He was plucked from the backbenches to be David Cameron’s parliamentary bag carrier, the Prime Minister’s eyes and ears in the Commons.

And Theresa May elevated Williamson, 42, to the Cabinet as Chief Whip when she entered Downing Street in July 2016.

Sixteen months later he was promoted to Defence Secretary where he was received cautiously by grizzled top brass who enjoyed a good relationship with his predecessor Sir Michael Fallon.

In January 2018, Williamson took the unusual step of confessing to cheating on his wife in 2004.

He admitted he kissed a colleague when he worked as a manager at fireplace manufacturer Elgin and Hall in Yorkshire.

The pair “shared a kiss a couple of times” but the relationship “never went further”, he claimed.

Williamson met his wife Joanne at sixth form college in Scarborough. They now have two children.

At the Ministry of Defence, he was dubbed “Private Pike” after the Dad’s Army character.

He did not help himself with a string of gaffes, including his infamous order to Russia to “go away and shut up” in the aftermath of the Salisbury Novichok attack.

But May trusted him as the man who spearheaded her triumphant 2016 campaign for the Tory leadership, and who helped keep her in No10 after her disastrous 2017 snap election.

However, faced with a leak from the National Security Council, the PM decided she could no longer trust him and he was shown the door.

Here's a few of Mr William's finest moments during his time as Defence Secretary

1. When he told Vladimir Putin to "go away and shut up"

2. When he suggested military chiefs tackle an equipment crisis by fitting tractors with guns

He was branded "out of his mind" after allegedly calling for "really expensive guns" on tractors at a summit on the equipment budget.

He also designed his own medal, which will no doubt now be a collector's item.

During a meeting with Polish counterparts, he was also said to have suggested disguising a missile defence lorry as a Coca Cola truck.

"No one really knows why," a staffer said.

3. When he suggested protecting Gibraltar by firing paintballs at Spanish ships

He reportedly made the suggestion during a regular MOD meeting with senior armed forces staff.

4. When he was heckled during a speech by his own phone

5. When he got in a bit of a spat with Richard Madeley while standing in a field full of elephants

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