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The Queen approves the appointment of Gavin Williamson as the new Defence Secretary

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Gavin Williamson CBE as Secretary of State for Defence this morning following the resignation of Sir Michael Fallon.

In what is seen as a surprise appointment, Mr Williamson used to hold the position of Chief Whip.

The 41-year-old, who was honoured with a CBE in 2016, was first elected to parliament at the 2010 General Election representing the seat of South Staffordshire.

He was appointed Chief Whip last year once Theresa May was confirmed as Prime Minister.

Sir Michael Fallon resigned from the position of Defence Secretary on Wednesday evening after saying that his behaviour may have “fallen short” of standards expected by the UK military.

The MP, who was knighted in 2016, is the first politician to quit following reports of sexual impropriety in Parliament.

In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Sir Michael said: “A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct.

“Many of these have been false but I accept that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the Armed Forces that I have the honour to represent.”

The Prime Minister is the sole person who appoints members of her cabinet. The Queen simply arrives the appointment of ministers but has no say over who serves in the role.

Mr Williamson is viewed by many as an unlikely choice for Defence Secretary.

Others widely tipped for the role included former Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt and Tobias Ellwood, a current minister in the Ministry of Defence.

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