Gavin Williamson - Defence Secretary
Gavin Alexander Williamson CBE is a British Conservative politician. He was first elected at the 2010 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Staffordshire. Williamson was Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Patrick McLoughlin as Secretary of State for Transport prior to being appointed PPS to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in October 2013. On 14 July 2016, he was appointed Chief Whip in Theresa May's government, and on 2 November 2017 he was appointed Secretary of State for Defence.
MOD DEFENCE BUDGET
We think it is shameful that the defence budget for 2016 was £35.3bn. That makes the United Kingdom the fifth largest spendthrifts on defence in the world - when there are far more important things to think about than strutting about on the world stage pretending that we still have an Empire.
The current population of the United Kingdom was 66,418,186 as of Wednesday, February 7, 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates. If the United Kingdom population is equivalent to 0.88% of the total world population and ranks number 21 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population, then how can we justify spending four times more than other countries who do not have such crippling debt problems - save for the United States, another country that is super debt laden.
The UK continues to meet the NATO commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence each year, when that two percent could go a long way to reducing our national debt . Surely, such expenditure is unsustainable in the quest for a circular economy.
When we heard that the British Government under the Conservatives is committed to increase defence spending by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation in each year of their administration in Parliament, we were appalled. NATO should be ashamed for asking anyone to make such high payments in the age of satellites and drones when the combined forces could easily reduce spending by taking advantage of the latest technology, rather than keeping afloat great rusting dinosaurs that only serve to make it look as though the UK is still what it was before World War Two. We should also think here of our carbon footprint when it comes to the energy used in making these vessels and then disposing of them.
Have either the UK warmongers or NATO chiefs looked hard at how to curb their carbon output? Do they even care? By contrast John Kerry, former US Defence Secretary has looked at ways to reduce American energy use for their armed forces.
SPEAKING OF HIS APPOINTMENT:
Mr Williamson is quoted as saying:
“I am both honoured and excited to have been appointed Defence Secretary. I have always had the greatest admiration for the professionalism and valour of all those who serve in our country’s Armed Forces.
In December 2017, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson unveiled his three-pronged strategy that will refresh defence’s Industrial Policy.
During his speech at the UK Defence Solutions Centre in Farnborough, Mr Williamson said that the defence sector is “industry’s biggest customer” and that the Government is “committed to exporters and small and medium-sized businesses to ensure they and our military remain the envy of the world”.
The first focus is to improve how defence delivers wider economic and international value, as well as national security objectives. The Government plans to introduce a pilot, which will try an innovative approach to delivering these benefits.
Secondly, the MOD wants to continue to build international relationships after many valuable agreements. Last year the Defence Secretary had success in Qatar signing a £6bn export deal for 24 Typhoon aircraft.
Lastly, the defence sector will stand by SMEs, opening up the market and making it easier for companies to do business with defence.
SMALL MEDIUM SIZE ENTERPRISES REACH
As mentioned, the Government is already succeeding in opening up the defence sector to small businesses: the MOD has increased spend with SMEs by 10% in 2017 compared with 2016, and the department aspires to place 25% of direct and indirect defence procurement with SMEs by 2020, rising from 18.1% in 2015/16.
It is estimated that over 700 SMEs throughout the UK supported the build of the latest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
These opportunities are promoted both via the MOD DCO portal and the @defenceproc Twitter account. Both platforms provide a range of useful information for new and prospective suppliers.
Hon Gavin Williamson MP
CONSERVATIVE MPS 2017-2018
THE GUARDIAN THURSDAY 11 JANUARY 2018 - Theresa May has said her government is serious about improving the environment after pressure groups gave a lukewarm response to a 25-year green plan, praising its ambition but warning that it lacked sufficient proposals for immediate action. May’s proposals were also criticised by Jeremy Corbyn, who said her pledge to stop all avoidable plastic waste by 2042 was “far too long” to take action. What that could mean is that they want to appease the electorate and pass the problem onto the next generation - but - the whole point of taking action now is to try and stop the fish that we eat, eating the plastic in Marine Litter.
The United Kingdom has many political parties, some of which are represented in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Below are links to the websites of the political parties that were represented in the House of Commons after the 2015 General Election: