Theresa May is facing a mutiny over her surprise decision to make Gavin Williamson the Defence Secretary.

Penny Mordaunt, a DWP minister and Navy reservist, and Tobias Elwood, a former Army officer and junior Defence minister, were favourites to replace Michael Fallon, who quit last night amid the sexual harassment scandal.

Tory MPs are said to be “furious” and “livid” with the decision to promote Williamson, who was Chief Whip but has neither military or ministerial experience.

Some have fired shots in public while others have been sniping away to journalists.

Here’s the nuclear fallout so far:

Laura Kuenssberg said another minister had told her that May “looks so weak because she has allowed Williamson to promote himself”:

Respected backbencher Sarah Wollaston openly expressed her concern at the appointment on Twitter:

She later told BBC World at One:

“Part of the role of being Chief Whip is to advice the Prime Minister on the most experienced and suitable person to take on such an important job as Secretary of State for Defence and I think it would be worth reflecting whether there were others that were more experienced and suited for that role.”

May received support from her former Chief of Staff Nick Timothy, who said:

Anna Soubry, who has also called for Damian Green to step down as Deputy PM, shot back at him:

Meanwhile, Tory MPs have been giving off the record briefings against May to journalists at Westminster:

And saving the best until last…

I think that’s what Williamson’s new friends in the military ‘friendly fire’…

More: Williamson took pre-election donation from top dog of fox hunting lobby

  1. Voted against against strengthening the Military Covenant, Appointed Defence Secretary. That will go down well.

  2. Female Tory MP on Gavin Williamson in the tea room: “a self-serving cunt”

    Errmmmm…That’d be about right. He’s a fellow tory, isn’t he?

  3. Joyce Temple-Savage says:

    Unfortunately I hadn’t heard of this character until today, so I know very little about him except that he is a Tory MP. That in itself is a fairly damning indictment.

  4. given that May is the epitome of self serving perhaps she feels comfortable with those of a similar nature !

  5. It’s an absolute pleasure watching the self serving , in denial ,lying , cheating , old school tie brigade shoot themselves in the foot

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