Gavin Williamson, the former secretary of state for education in the UK, has been cleared to take up a paid role at payment card provider Lanistar. This move has sparked interest due to Williamson’s notable political career and unique office decoration choice.
A Notable Politician
Williamson, an MP since 2010, has been a prominent figure in UK politics. However, his constituency seat is set to be split in the upcoming 2024 election. Despite this, his experience and influence are highly regarded.
The Tarantula on His Desk
One intriguing aspect of Williamson’s parliamentary office was his Mexican redknee tarantula, named Cronus, which he kept on his desk. This unusual choice of office companion garnered attention and curiosity among his colleagues and the public.
Role at Lanistar
As an Advisory Board Member at Lanistar, Williamson will provide guidance, connections, and leadership to the payment card provider. The committee on business appointments (Acoba), responsible for overseeing former UK government ministers’ commercial activities, has approved Williamson’s role. However, strict guidelines have been put in place to ensure no contact or dealings with the government occur.
Acoba has highlighted the risks associated with Williamson’s connections and the possibility of unfair access and influence on the government. Any attempt to use his connections within the government, even indirectly, would be considered a breach of the lobbying ban imposed on all ministers for two years after leaving office.
Resignation Amid Bullying Allegations
In November 2022, Williamson stepped down from his ministerial position following allegations of bullying. These allegations were outlined in a report by Tortoise Media, which Williamson vehemently denied.