The first resignation from Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet occurred when Gavin Williamson, a senior minister and personal friend, resigned in response to allegations of bullying.
The texts that Williamson wrote to a coworker are currently the focus of a complaints process. Williamson stated in his resignation letter that he was adhering to this procedure even though he had apologised to the recipient for those communications.
“There have been other allegations made about my past conduct. I refute the characterisation of these claims, but I recognise these are becoming a distraction for the good work this government is doing,” he added.
Media reports claim that Williamson bullied a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Defence and demanded them to “slit” their throat when he was Theresa May’s defence secretary. Williamson was already facing criticism for another bullying charge levelled by a different Conservative MP.
Williamson’s former deputy, Anne Milton, claimed in an interview with Channel 4 News on November 8 that he used the health problems of MPs as “leverage” and that his behaviour while in office was “threat[ing]” and “intimidating.”
She remembered one time when he requested her to donate a check to a lawmaker who needed financial assistance. “And he waved it under my nose and said, ‘Make sure when you give him this cheque, he knows I now own him’,” she said. “I don’t think it was a joke. It was the seriousness with which he said it.”
signation. I know your commitment to successive Conservative governments and the party over the years has been unwavering,” Sunak wrote while accepting Williamson’s resignation.
He also thanked the senior minister for his “personal support and loyalty”. “I know you will continue to represent your constituents with diligence and care,” he added.