KINVER’S jovial MP Gavin Williamson admits to loving his new job as Parliament's Chief Whip but he’ll be trying not to take inspiration from his House of Cards hero - he told the News in a frank interview about being at the very heart of government.

Appointed by new Prime Minister Theresa May in July to the top job - often regarded as the best post in the cabinet - the young, congenial politician has already had his work cut out.

The new job followed his 40th birthday which came the day after his boss and former Prime Minister David Cameron, to whom he was Parliamentary Private Secretary, announced his resignation as the world took in Britain's shock Brexit vote.

Mr Williamson, who can't think of anything "more horrendous" than living in London - preferring to call Codsall in his South Staffordshire constituency home, said: "I felt a bit down so I headed home to see my family and try and cheer myself up."

He wasn't down for long though and on July 14 it was announced he'd bagged the coveted job of Chief Whip which demands twice daily meetings with the Prime Minister, whom he must guide and advise, and a wily determination to ensure fellow MPs fall into line and vote the way their party requires.

He said: "It's amazing to be so much at the centre of things.

"I always thought it was a job I’d love to do. I've always been fascinated by the working of the whips' office - and it was a former whip, Sir Paul Bryan, who encouraged me to get into politics. He always took the view it was the best job around the cabinet table."

Mr Williamson, the youngest Chief Whip since 39-year-old Ted Heath's appointment in the 1950s, admits it has been a steep learning curve - having never served as a whip prior to being appointed as chief and he said: "There's been an awful lot of learning - you do see a different side to people sometimes, both good and bad."

But he promises he's not looking to emulate the ruthless politician Frank Underwood, played by actor Kevin Spacey, in the US thriller House of Cards; or Francis Urquhart - the manipulating Chief Whip in the original 1990s British drama (played by the late Ian Richardson).

He told the News: "I will be trying not to go down the same route as Francis Urquhart or Frank Underwood - although it would be quite nice to meet Kevin Spacey; I’m a great fan."

However, he does treasure the classic books that inspired the TV shows - penned and signed by Michael Dobbs (now executive producer of the US show) - the last of which bears the inscription 'Remember - this is a work of fiction, not of instruction!'

Hereford Times:

But - when asked if it's not too far a stretch to assume the job requires a bit of skilful Frank Underwood-style scheming he simply smiled and replied: "You might very well think that - I couldn't possibly comment."

He does, however, admit to spending his "whole life feeling slightly nervous that something’s going to go wrong - even when you think everything is going right".

He said: "Events can change so quickly. All of a sudden a storm comes out of nowhere and you’re having to deal with it but that’s what makes it so exciting."

Exciting maybe but Chief Whips in recent years have not been known to hang around - Mr Williamson is the sixth in six years, with the shortest postholder being Andrew Mitchell who held the role for just 39 days.

Despite having attained such lofty office just six years after being elected in 2010 at the age of 34 - he is under no illusion he must keep his feet firmly on the ground in South Staffordshire and he said: "You've still got to look after your constituency and fight for the things that are really important - that is where my home, wife and children live - and London isn't Britain.

"I'd be fearful of upping sticks and going and living in London, you become detached from how the rest of the world moves."

His role at the centre of a Conservative government is somewhat at odds with his early years in Scarborough, north Yorkshire, where he was brought up by Labour supporting parents.

He said: "As a lad who went to a comprehensive school with a pretty unremarkable back story - it's fascinating to have the opportunity and end up being in the massively privileged position of being an MP representing a beautiful area such as Kinver but also being right at the heart of government and having a small influence in a small way.

"I always wanted to go into politics - I thought what a difference I could make - but in 2010 I was absolutely blown away and couldn't believe my good fortune. However, never did I expect anything else."

Hereford Times:

Mr Williamson, who ran a pottery business in Stoke-on-Trent before turning to politics, certainly didn't anticipate playing a part in the historic departure of David Cameron - for whom he had worked for three years as PPS - but found himself having to 'move the writ' to call a by-election - thereby ending Mr Cameron's career in Parliament.

He said: "It was such a sad moment - it felt as if I personally finished his career, like you're the last one to throw soil on the coffin".

Another thing he didn't predict was Britain voting to leave the EU and, like Theresa May, he supported the Remain campaign - but now the Brexit dust has settled he says he's "determined to make a massive success of it".