Had his chips: Gavin Williamson posted this picture of himself in McDonald's last night
Gavin Williamson has received the backing of more than 200 Conservative MPs since his brutal sacking by Theresa May, friends revealed last night.
Amid mounting Tory unease at Mr Williamson's dramatic ejection from the Cabinet, allies of the former defence secretary said around two-thirds of the party had sent him supportive messages.
He is also understood to have received a consolatory call from DUP leader Arlene Foster, whose MPs prop up Mrs May's Government.
Mr Williamson, who was sacked on Wednesday for allegedly leaking information from the National Security Council about Chinese firm Huawei – allegations he strenuously denies – is now mulling whether to make a potentially explosive speech in the Commons as he fights to clear his name.
He told the Mail last night: 'I have been royally screwed over – it is pretty painful. The only thing I want to do now is clear my name.'
Downing Street had reportedly decided that Mr Williamson was guilty of leaking 48 hours before he was given an ultimatum of quitting or being sacked.
Sources told The Times that it was apparent on Monday that Mr Williamson no longer had a place in Theresa May's government - two days before he was sacked.
A cabinet source had said: 'Everyone knew [Mr Williamson] was a serial leaker so the onus was on him to disprove it. The test is whether he has the prime minister's confidence.
'That is the only test that needs to be applied.'
Mr Williamson is now mulling whether to make a potentially explosive speech in the Commons as he fights to clear his name
Downing Street has refused to publish details of the report into the leak that sealed Mr Williamson's fate
Downing Street has refused to publish details of the report into the leak that sealed Mr Williamson's fate. Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill, who oversaw the inquiry, has also resisted calls to ask the police to investigate, despite opposition claims that the leak – which revealed secret details of Huawei's involvement in the UK's 5G mobile network – constituted a breach of the Official Secrets Act which can carry a two-year jail term.
Mr Williamson has claimed Sir Mark was engaged in a 'vendetta' against him amid suggestions that he found him guilty before the inquiry even began. One Whitehall source yesterday said Sir Mark had told a meeting of officials on the morning the Huawei leak was reported that he believed Mr Williamson was guilty.
'Sedwill was telling people last Wednesday that Gavin was guilty,' the source said. 'It raised a few eyebrows because at that stage no one can have known.'
Mr Williamson scrawled 'F*** the Prime Minister' across an official memo as his relationship with Downing Street deteriorated, it emerged last night.
Friends of the former defence secretary confirmed that he had written the aggressive message in frustration after Theresa May overruled his controversial decision to deploy the UK's new aircraft carrier to the South China Sea.
Word of Mr Williamson's angry response in February spread like wildfire around the Ministry of Defence and is said to have reached the ears of Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill, who would play a central role in his downfall.
Mr Williamson's announcement that HMS Queen Elizabeth would be deployed to the South China Sea underlined his position as the Cabinet's leading hawk on China's expansionist policies. He said the UK had to be prepared to use 'hard power' against countries that 'flout international law', as critics