Since taking office as the UK defence secretary, Gavin Williamson has taken a belligerent tone, issuing dubious warnings to Russian President Vladimir Putin every from time to time – but this time he has gone even further.

The Daily Mail has cited a source close to the defence secretary as saying that Gavin Williamson had lavatory paper with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s face on it, along with a highly offensive expletive in Russian. The insider claims that the roll of paper was spotted by visitors in the Ministry of Defence.

Social media has been abuzz at the news, with many netizens dismissing Williamson as a “dangerous embarrassment”:

…while another user hypothesised what would happen if Williamson were to ever meet with Putin:

Williamson made world headlines in wake of the Skripal poisoning, having immediately accused Russia of being behind the alleged attack on the former GRU colonel residing in the UK – without evidence and waiting for the official investigation to be completed.

Commenting on how Moscow may respond to the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK, the defence secretary said that “Russia should go away and shut up”.

Most recently, Williamson issued a warning to the UK’s “enemies”, including Russia, saying that they better not “mess with” Britain. The remark came after he announced that the Royal Air Force’s new fleet of F-35B Lightning II stealth jets were operational.

Moscow, for its part, said in a statement that it would respond accordingly if Russia’s security is jeopardised.

Williamson has developed a reputation for eccentric antics inside the ministry: he used to keep a tarantula called Cronus before the unusual domestic pet was evicted due to an arachnophobic colleague.

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