March 24, 2023

Gavin Williamson: Rishi Sunak faces questions following resignation

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces questions about his verdict after Minister Sir Gavin Williamson resigned amid bullying allegations.

Mr Sunak will confront MPs when he puts questions to the Prime Minister and is expected to be questioned when he gets full details of the allegations.

Sir Gavin has been accused of abusive behavior towards fellow MPs and officials, although he denies all the allegations.

Labor said the incident showed “misjudgment and leadership” by Mr Sunak.

Sir Gavin was appointed Minister without Portfolio after Sunak, a close political ally, won the Conservative Party leadership just two weeks ago.

Complaints against him first surfaced when the Sunday Times published a series of profanity-laden texts which he sent to then-President Wendy Morton last month.

In the minutes, he appears to complain about not being invited to the Queen’s funeral and appears to accuse Morton of “rigging” the allocation of tickets to MPs who were not favored by then-Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Morton reportedly warned against “paying for it,” saying that “everything has a price.”

A senior official later told The Guardian Sir Gavin told them to “slaughter them” during his tenure as defense secretary and “jump out the window” on another occasion.

Also on Tuesday, his former deputy, Anne Melton, claimed he behaved “threateningly” and “intimidatingly” towards MPs when he was the whip boss.

Former Conservative Party leader Jake Perry said he informed Sunak of Ms Morton’s complaint on October 24, a day before Sir Gavin was appointed.

Number 10 said the Prime Minister “knew there was a rift” but didn’t know “the content” of the messages until the Sunday Times published them.

BBC political correspondent Nick Iardley said Sir Gavin met with the Prime Minister on Tuesday night for the first in-depth discussion of the allegations, after which Sir Gavin made the decision to resign.

Sir Gavin was reported to Parliament’s bullying watchdog, the Independent Complaints and Grievances Scheme, via his WhatsApp messages to Ms Morton.

The Guardian reported that a Defense Department official also filed a complaint with the agency.

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