UK cabinet minister Gavin Williamson has resigned from his position after a civil servant lodged a formal complaint against him over bullying allegations.
Williamson, who was minister without portfolio in the Cabinet Office, was accused of “unethical and immoral behaviour” by the former Conservative MP Anne Milton, and a senior civil servant claimed he told them to “slit your throat”.
Milton said that as chief whip, he used “leverage” and threats to control colleagues and instil a culture of fear in Westminster.
Earlier this week Williamson was accused of sending abusive text messages to former chief whip Wendy Morton, which led to investigations by the Conservative party and parliamentary authorities.
In a statement confirming his resignation on Tuesday evening, he said: “It is with real sadness that I tender my resignation, but I want to take this opportunity to offer my full and total support from the back benches. I am incredibly proud to have worked with you in government over the last few years and during the campaign.”
Several sources have come forward in recent days with accusations of bullying and inappropriate behaviour, following the formal complaint from Morton, the Conservative Party’s first female chief whip.
The Sunday Times reported that Williamson sent abusive WhatsApp messages to Morton in response to unfounded claims she excluded him from attending the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in September, telling her “There is a price for everything”, before saying her conduct was “absolutely disgusting” and that she had chosen to “fuck us all over”.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he regretted appointing Williamson to his Cabinet.
Speaking at a session of prime minister’s questions, Sunak said that the “behavior complained of was unacceptable” and that it was “right” that Williamson resigned.
“For the record, I did not know about any of the specific concerns related to his conduct,” Sunak said.
“I obviously regret appointing someone who has had to resign in these circumstances.”

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