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The State We’re In…

p-69

Gavin Williamson - Education Secretary

In February 2018, Williamson dined with Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of a former Putin minister, in exchange for a £30,000 donation to the Conservative party. Later that month, Williamson alleged that the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, in meeting a Czech diplomat (later revealed to be a spy) during the 1980s, had “betrayed” his country. In response to the statement, a spokesman for Corbyn stated: “Gavin Williamson should focus on his job and not give credence to entirely false and ridiculous smears.”

On 1 May 2019, Williamson was asked to resign from his position as Defence Secretary, following the leaking of confidential National Security Council information related to Huawei’s potential involvement in the UK’s 5G network. He refused to resign because he felt this would incriminate him and be seen as an admission that he was responsible for the leak, and was therefore sacked. Theresa May said that she had “compelling evidence” that Williamson had leaked the information and that she had “lost confidence in his ability to serve in his role”. Williamson vehemently denied the allegation and said that a “thorough and formal inquiry” would have vindicated his position. At the time, Opposition MPs called for a police investigation into the matter, but the matter was closed.

With the Irish backstop being one of the main issues of the former Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, Johnson met with his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar, 40, recently with both in agreement a “pathway to a possible deal” is now on the horizon.

As Brexit talks commence once more in Brussels later today, there are still concerns on whether the UK will leave the European Union by the deadline of October 31.

Speaking with Williamson on the show this morning, Garraway and Shephard were intrigued to discover how the government were so sure Johnson’s deal was the best deal. The politician began the interview by stating it was in the interest of the UK and the EU to get a deal “on both sides” to avoid Ireland being left to forge it’s own customs union separate from the rest of the nation. Williamson affirmed Johnson had “already shown real compromise” on the proposals which have been put forward with the EU also offering “compromise”. However, the Education Secretary stated if the issues which arose from May’s deal weren’t addressed, the Johnson’s deal wouldn’t be passed through the House of Commons.

As the hosts noticed similarities between the current deal and what the former Prime Minister had said before her deal was defeated twice, they asked Williamson what the differences were.

Claiming the Prime Minister is “clear” the UK will leave the EU on October 31, Garrway asked if that was the only difference between the two.

After trying to explain how Johnson’s deal was better, Garraway interrupted Williamson and told him: “Sorry. It isn’t clear.”

“These are literally the words Theresa May used about about the close relationship with Europe, comprise, still giving us control we want but still having the opportunity to work with Europe.”

Williamson replied: “The Prime Minister has set out very publicly what our position is in terms of what we are offering the European Union as a comprise.”

Shepard jumped in: “Great, so tell us what the difference are?” as the presenters became more frustrated.

“We’ve sat down with the European Union, we’re going to be sitting down with them today, we’ve sat down with the Irish and it was always seen as Republic of Ireland being the key stumbling block,” Williamson replied.

Skirting around the issue of not giving a greater explanation, the politician said: “We can’t provide a commentary in terms of what exactly is going on.”

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