Downtime

May 2 2019   1:43PM GMT

Death of a fireplace salesman

Ryan Priest Ryan Priest Profile: Ryan Priest

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Theresa May has wielded the axe on her notoriously slapdash defence secretary after deeming him responsible for leaking National Security Council confab about the use of Huawei networking equipment.

Gavin Williamson continues to deny any wrongdoing, but as a former managing director of a fireplace firm should know only too damn well, there’s no smoke without fire. This is the guy who’ll mainly be remembered for telling Russia to “go away” and “shut up”, not long before experiencing similar treatment from Richard Madeley for evading his questioning in the company of an elephant.

A degree of childishness defined Williamson’s tenure in his latest job, which happened to be a very important one. The Official Secrets Act, surprisingly not a Jacqueline Wilson book but actually a serious, government-level agreement, surely only exists to spell out the importance of basic confidentiality to cretins who aren’t in the room on merit, but apparently it wasn’t clear enough.

Whatever his next job, his boss will need to come up with more of these acts and stick them on Post-its around his office to remind him how to function in the most fundamental of ways. The Official Honesty Act. The Official Being Normal Act. The Official Not Snogging Everyone Act. He’s going to be prime minister, isn’t he.

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