— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) December 26, 2017
The Times is reporting this morning that during the intense negotiations to bolster the minority government after the general election the then chief whip Gavin Williams offered the DUP a cabinet post.
We all remember how long it seemed to take for the negotiations with the DUP to provide supply and confidence went on. According to the Times report, linked to in the Tweet above, the man sent out to secure the deal, Gavin Williamson, went well beyond his brief and is said have offered the DUP a cabinet place.
Apparently the DUP’s Nigel Dodd was being lined up for Liam Fox’s International Trade Secretary job. This didn’t go down well at Number 10 where people were said to be horrified.
The question we should ask, of course, is why this story should be coming out 6 months later?
It seems like an effort to discredit Williamson who, of course, replaced Michael Fallon last month as Defence Sec. This appointment was highly controversial at the time given Williamson’s lack of any ministerial experience.
As has been reported he is now being called “Private Pike” by his detractors. The source of the story is said by the Times to be “a former senior official”.
Williamson, who played a big part in TMay’s leadership campaign in July 2016, is one of my long shot bets to succeed her.