UK’s Sunak under pressure as minister resigns after bullying allegations

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced pressure in parliament on Wednesday after Cabinet Minister Sir Gavin Williamson was forced to resign over allegations of abuse against a colleague.

Snack defended giving Williamson a cabinet seat, saying he was unaware of “specific concerns” about Williamson’s past behavior.

Opposition leader Sir Kiel Sturmer accused Snack of being in the shadow of bullies because he was “too weak” to stand up to them, and why Snack gave Williamson the job. He said it was because he was “exactly” a bully.

Williamson, who was appointed a no-portfolio minister two weeks ago, resigned on Tuesday, saying the claims had become “a distraction” from the government’s “good job”.

He also refuted “the characterization of these allegations” and said his name would be cleared following the congressional investigation process.

In a separate Twitter post, Williamson said he would not receive any severance pay.

Epoch Times photo
British Secretary of Education Gavin Williamson speaks at a virtual press conference at 10 Downing Street in central London, 24 February 2021. (via John Sibley/Pool/Getty Images)

Allegations against the former minister first surfaced on Saturday. Sunday Times He reportedly sent abusive messages to former Conservative Party leader Wendy Morton.

Williamson, who led Rishi Sunak’s failure to become prime minister over the summer, accused Morton of punishing his rivals by excluding them from Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, according to The Times.

Former Conservative Party chairman Sir Jake Berry has reportedly told Sunak that Morton will file a complaint against Williamson on October 24.

Independent On Tuesday, Morton reported that he had also filed a complaint with Congress’ Independent Complaints and Complaints Scheme.

Guardian On Monday, Williamson said he was abusive to public officials when he was secretary of defense, telling him on another occasion to “cut his throat” and “jump out of a window,” citing an unnamed former senior official at the Defense Department.

Mr Williamson strongly denied the allegations in response to the report, saying he had “good working relationships” with officials in his previous cabinet work, adding: No,” he added.

Ann Milton, who was deputy chief of staff when Williamson was chief of staff, said Tuesday channel 4 news He would use “obscene gossip” to “against MPs if the need arose.”

Williamson announced his resignation on Twitter Tuesday night, refuting “the characterization of these allegations” but acknowledging that they are “a distraction” from the government’s “good work”. posted a dictionary.

“Therefore, I have made the decision to step back from the government so that I am fully compliant with the ongoing complaints procedure and can remove any wrongdoing from my name,” he wrote.

Williamson also said he is following the bullying watchdog’s complaints procedure.

Faced with Sturmer at the prime minister’s question on Wednesday, Snak told MPs that Williamson’s alleged behavior was “unacceptable” and that his resignation was “absolutely correct.”

Sunak said he was unaware of “specific concerns related to his actions as Secretary of State or Chief Whip going back several years.”

“I believe that people in public should treat others with kindness and respect, and that is the principle this government supports,” he said.

Asked if he regretted appointing Williamson, Snack said he regretted “appointing someone who had to resign under these circumstances,” adding, “We have dealt with these issues properly. He said it was “absolutely correct” that there is an investigation to investigate.

“I said my government will be characterized by integrity, professionalism and accountability, and it will be,” he added, referring to his first speech after taking office.

Sunak resigned in July after former Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted it was a “mistake” to keep Chris Pincher in government despite allegations of sexual misconduct against him. .

Lily Zhou


Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.