He is known for keeping a pet tarantula in a glass box on his desk to menace wayward Conservative MPs.
As chief whip Gavin Williamson combined a dry sense of humour with a hidden disciplinarian streak. Now the 41-year-old MP for South Staffordshire has been elevated to defence secretary, his first cabinet role.
A former parliamentary private secretary to David Cameron, he survived his old boss’s departure after the EU referendum by cleaving to Theresa May and presiding over the campaign to propel her into No 10, a feat for which he received a great deal of the credit.
His new appointment means Mrs May gains a loyal lieutenant in her fractious cabinet, but privately Tory MPs worry that the removal of Mr Williamson from…