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Former minister Gavin Williamson cleared for Lanistar role

The UK government's advisory committee for former ministers warned Williamson he is not able to lobby via his job for two years since leaving office.

Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson

Sir Gavin Williamson, the UK's former secretary of state for education, has been cleared to take up a paid role at payment card provider Lanistar.

Williamson, an MP since 2010 whose constituency seat is set to be split at the next election in 2024, is well known for having kept a Mexican redknee tarantula, named Cronus, on his desk in his parliamentary office.

His duties at Lanistar will officially be as an Advisory Board Member, "providing guidance, connections (with financial institutions) and leadership to Lanistar," according to the committee on business appointments (Acoba), which oversees former UK government ministers' commercial activities.

"In the description of your role, you said that you would provide connections to Lanistar. You also made clear you would have no contact or dealings with government, Acoba's report said.

"There is a risk your connections could be used to unfairly access and influence the government and its arm’s length bodies. Making use of contacts within government even indirectly would be a breach of the Rules which impose a lobbying ban on all ministers for 2 years on leaving office," it added.

Williamson left his role as a minister in November 2022 amid allegations of bullying set out in a report by Tortoise Media, which he denied.

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