Gavin Williamson, UK minister, resigns from post following bullying allegations


London
CNN

Cabinet Office minister Gavin Williamson resigned on Tuesday following recent bullying allegations, saying the charges against him “are distracting from the good things the government is doing”.

“As you know, the complaint process is ongoing regarding the text messages I sent to colleagues,” Williamson said in his resignation letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

“I am following this procedure and I have apologised to the recipient for this information. Since then, other allegations have been made against my past conduct. I refute the characterization of these claims, but I admit that these are distracting the government for the British people Good job done,” he added in the letter.

“As a result, I have decided to withdraw from the government in order to fully comply with the ongoing complaints process and to clear me of any wrongdoing,” Williamson said.

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According to the PA news agency, Sunak accepted his resignation with “great sadness”. “I want to thank you for your personal support and loyalty,” Sunak said.

Williamson’s current term in government lasts just 14 days. Considered a close ally of Sunak, Williamson has faced growing calls to resign following allegations of bullying.

Former deputy chief whip Annie Milton described Williamson’s actions as chief whip five years ago as “threatening” and “intimidating” in an interview with Channel 4 News released on Tuesday.

Milton, who worked with Williamson in the Whip Office – enforcing party discipline – also described his actions as “immoral and unethical”.

Milton told the broadcaster: “My impression is that he enjoys pornographic gossip and he will use it against MPs if need be.”

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Williamson has not publicly responded to Milton’s claims. CNN has reached out to lawmakers for comment.

Williamson said late on Tuesday that he would not receive any severance packages after his resignation. writing on twitter “This is taxpayer money and should be used on government priorities such as reducing NHS waiting lists.”

The Conservative MP was previously sacked by then-Prime Minister Theresa May in 2019 for leaking a key decision related to Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

May’s decision follows an investigation into how the Daily Telegraph discovered the British government was preparing to give Huawei access to parts of the country’s 5G mobile network. Williamson “vigorously” denied that he was the source of the leak in a letter posted to his Twitter account at the time.

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Former prime minister Boris Johnson later named him education secretary in an ill-fated briefing with Williamson presiding over a controversial test-scoring algorithm amid the Covid-19 pandemic because it couldn’t be done test. The grading system was scrapped after widespread outrage from parents, students and educators.

Williamson also caused a stir for confusing two major black British sports stars, telling an interviewer he had spoken to Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford before The man has been fighting for free school meals for children in need during the pandemic, and in fact he has met with rugby player Maro Itoje.

Johnson removed him from office during a 2021 cabinet reshuffle.

Williamson, also a former chief whip, served as a minister without office in Sunak’s government before resigning on Tuesday.



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