Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
13 June 2012updated 01 Jul 2021 12:14pm

The Instagram timeline of Gavin Williamson’s very public break up with Theresa May

By Media Mole

Gavin Williamson is doing just fine, okay? He’s fine. He’s never been happier, actually.

Yes, the former defence secretary was last week sacked from his post over the suspected Huawei leak, but that’s great because he’s actually much better off without the job, and he’d been wanting to quit it for ages – ask any of his friends – he just didn’t know how to!!!

That is, as far as your mole can tell, the subtext of Instagram’s most public break-up yet: Gavin Williamson and Theresa May.  

We all know that the standard procedure in these situations, when two people in the public eye break up (and, yes, your mole does agree that it is a bit of a stretch to describe Williamson as being in the public eye), is to tweet a screenshot of an iPhone note. In it, you must solemnly announce that although you still love each other very much, you’ve grown apart and gone your separate ways, and that you’d like your privacy respected during this difficult time, etc etc etc.

Not Gav, though. Gav doesn’t want privacy. Gav wants the world to know that yeah, he’s been hurt, he’s wounded, sure, but he’s moving on.

It all started the day after he was dumped (from cabinet). Williamson posted a picture of himself, arms around two dogs – a staple of any good Instagram influencer. “When you have had a pretty tough week it’s rather nice to get out and about with some really good company,” it was captioned.

See that, May? He’s not sitting at home, miserable. He’s out and about, he’s enjoying life. He’s got his pals. When was the last time Larry wanted to sit with you? He’s always outside.

The next day he was back with another picture of himself beaming, this time clutching a McDonalds milkshake. “So the plan had been for dinner this evening with the US Defence Secretary at Lancaster House,” he wrote. “Obviously things change and you just can’t beat a @mcdonalds #mcdonalds #food”.

Comfort food, your mole agrees, is a necessary stage in any break-up.

Williamson changed tack the following day, opting not for a picture of himself forcing a smile, but for one of Thatcher. “40 years ago today Margaret Thatcher entered Downing St as Prime Minister. She demonstrated to Britain & the world her passion, commitment & courage to stand up for her values, party & country.”

This one is your mole’s favourite. Williamson, it seems, has reached the make-them-jealous stage of the break up. But he’s attempting subtlety – merely sharing a piece of his party’s history, right?

Your mole, however, believes that Williamson, under the impression that women see all other women as competition, has purposely shared a picture of the other female prime minister. The passionate one. The committed one. The courageous one. (These are not your mole’s views; your mole is simply reading between the lines.)

Williamson took a day off Instagram the next day – after all, if you’re constantly online it’s too obvious you’re sat alone – but made a comeback the following day with a picture near identical to that of two days previously, only having swapped the milkshake for an ice cream sundae.

“Might as well round off a grim week with something wonderful and for that you just can’t beat an ice cream from the Harbour Bar, Scarborough. At least a good start for the next week!!”

The two exclamation marks say it all, Gavin.

But it’s the most recent post from Williamson where the break-up gets savage. Last night, Williamson grew tired of pretending to be happy. He was ready to bitch. So he went for dinner with the person who hates May most, her arch-nemesis: George Osborne.

He captioned a picture of them, the boys, out in an extremely posh restaurant, eating nothing, drinking tap water, having a laugh: “The upside of not being in government is more time to catch up with old friends. Always really fantastic to grab some time with @georgegoosborne.”

Ouch. Your mole can only imagine the atmosphere at No 10 when the Prime Minister saw that one.

So that’s the break-up so far. From jokey acceptance to sad attempts at making May jealous.  

Next week your mole looks forward to Williamson’s selfie in a gym mirror, captioned “Time to get back in the game #onwardsandupwards”, the classic “New hair, don’t care”, taken on the bus home from the barbers, and the Sunday afternoon picture of a Dominos pizza on his duvet cover, captioned “Heavy one with the boys last night #ladsladslads #bignightoutinScarborough”.

Content from our partners
What you need to know about private markets
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

Topics in this article :