UK: Tory MP Gavin Williamson Resigns Over Bullying Allegations

    Photo: Reuters [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • UK cabinet minister Sir Gavin Williamson resigned on Tuesday, after Downing Street announced he is facing internal investigation by the Conservative Party over a series of bullying allegations. His resignation letter detailed that Williamson plans to comply with "an ongoing complaints process."

    • Pressures over Williamson's cabinet position arose at the weekend, when text messages emerged between him and ex-chief whip Wendy Morton showing he accused her of "rigging" the ticket allocation for the Queen's funeral. He then apparently threatened her, warning "there is a price for everything." He quit following revelations published in the Guardian that, while defense secretary, he allegedly told a senior civil servant to "slit your throat."

    The Spin

    Left narrative

    The appointment and subsequent resignation in disgrace of twice-sacked Williamson is a parable for the crisis of the Conservative government. Sunak's failure to respond more forcibly to the scandal surrounding the former defense secretary's vile behavior has revealed the weakness of his position — the Tories are ungovernable and their salvation is beyond the abilities of any single PM.

    Right narrative

    Despite Williamson's resignation letter, it is more likely that he was pushed from government than made a willing exit. His actions threatened Sunak's promise to establish a government of accountability and integrity, and his swift removal from cabinet — along with an internal inquiry to clarify events — will help protect the reputation of the PM's new administration.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 30% chance that the Conservatives will form the first government after the next UK general election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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