Oleg BurunovAll materialsWrite to the authorBullying claims against Gavin Williamson follow a row over the reappointment of Suella Braverman as home secretary in British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government, just six days after she stepped down over security breaches.UK Cabinet Office Minister Gavin Williamson has been accused of sending abusive and bullying messages to former Chief Whip Wendy Morton, in which he reportedly complained that he had not been invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September for political reasons.The texts, obtained by a UK newspaper, pertain to the period when Williamson served as a backbencher.
In one message, he allegedly told Morton that it was “very poor and sends a very clear message” that members of the privy council, including him, who were not “favored” by then-Prime Minister Liz Truss, were deliberately excluded from the list of those due to attend the Queen’s funeral.
After Morton insisted that it was “not the case”, Williamson noted that it looked “very shit”, according to the messages.
WorldRishi Sunak: Example of Justice, or Product of Privilege?26 October, 14:31 GMT“Also don’t forget I know how this works so don’t puss [sic] me about,” Williamson, who served as chief whip himself under Theresa May’s premiership, wrote in one message.“It’s very clear how you are going to treat a number of us which is very stupid and you are showing f**k all interest in pulling things together. Don’t bother asking anything from me,” the cabinet officer minister ostensibly added.In another message, he purportedly warned, “Well let’s see how many more times you f**k us all over. There is a price for everything.”The British newspaper reported that the then Tory chairman, Sir Jake Berry, informed Rishi Sunak the day before he entered No 10 as the PM that Morton had submitted a formal complaint to the Conservative party about Sir Gavin’s conduct.Berry told the media outlet that he was informed by the Conservative Party chief executive on October 24 that a complaint had been made against Gavin regarding allegations of “bullying and intimidation of parliamentary colleagues.””In compliance with protocol, in my capacity as party chairman, I informed both the new Prime Minister and his incoming chief of staff about the complaint on the same day,” Berry said.Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper has, meanwhile, accused Sunak of ignoring Morton’s complaint, adding that Gavin should be fired.
Cooper was echoed by Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner who pointed out that the UK prime minister’s “pledge to restore integrity, professionalism, and accountability has been exposed as nothing more than hollow words.” According to Rayner, “Far from stopping the rot in Downing Street, he's letting it fester."
WorldTruss Government Denies Braverman Quit Over Migrant Policy or For Leadership Bid20 October, 12:25 GMTSunak, who earlier underlined that his government would be characterized by “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level,” officially succeeded Liz Truss as prime minister on October 25, when he also appointed Williamson minister of state at the Cabinet Office.Williamson resigned as UK defense minister in 2019 after the leaking of confidential information from the National Security Council. He was appointed education secretary by then PM Boris Johnson, but dismissed from the government again in 2021 due to controversy regarding the grading of exams during the COVID-19 pandemic.The report about Williamson’s alleged bullying messages to Morton came after a turmoil over Sunak reappointing Suella Braverman as home secretary in his government last month. The reappointment took place six days after she quit from Truss’ team, making clear in her resignation letter that she realized the fact she had broken the ministerial code by storing government documents on a personal device and sending the papers to a “trusted parliamentary colleague”