British-born Isil fighters must be killed by drone, new Defence Secretary says

Sophie Jamieson
Gavin Williamson is the new Defence Secretary - AFP

The new Defence Secretary has said British-born Isil fighters should be killed by drone.

Gavin Williamson said it was necessary to stop people who have joined the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria from returning to the UK.

"They are going to inflict more and more harm on our country, so does that mean eliminating that threat completely? Yes it does," he said in an interview with the Sun newspaper. 

His comments echo the words of another Government minister, Rory Stewart, who said last month that British Isil fighters should be killed while in Syria rather than be allowed to return to the UK.

Mr Stewart said converts who leave Britain to fight for the terror group are guilty of horrific acts and the only way of dealing with them is to kill them "in almost every case".

Mr Williamson was appointed to replace Sir Michael Fallon, who resigned over a growing sex scandal, admitting his behaviour had "fallen below the high standards required".

The new minister was previously chief whip and had no defence experience prior to the role. 

He said he knew his decisions affected that "lives and futures" of those who serve their country. 

"You realise you have to be the one that is the loudest voice at the Cabinet table, that is absolutely going to be there fighting for them and hopefully delivering for them.

"These are people putting their lives on the line for their country. If they do not have a politician that is willing to stick their neck out, fight tooth and nail and make sure they deliver for them, that’s a poor do.

"I will be doing everything I can do to make sure our Armed Forces get everything they need and make sure they are properly represented."

In the interview he also said Russia poses a greater threat to the UK now than at any time since the Cold War, and that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a direct threat to Britain. 

He described the North Korean leader as "a madman that cares little about human life".