UNITED KINGDOM: British Minister Gavin Williamson resigned from his office after claims of him bullying his colleagues surfaced, raising questions about the new Conservative leader and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s judgement just a few weeks into the job.
Sunak, who changed British history as the first Asian Hindu Prime Minister, pledged to restore professionalism and integrity to British governance after months of political and social turmoil stirred by his predecessors, Liz Truss and Boris Johnson.
Now, Sunak’s leadership stand questioned as his interior minister, Suella Braverman, and now Williamson finds themselves in the midst of controversies and allegations.
Prominent news agencies reported that several colleagues had accused Williamson of behaving in a bullying manner, sending expletives in official messages to peers, and even telling one government official to “slit your throat”.
Williamson addresses Sunak in a letter regarding the issue, assuring him of his complete compliance with complaints but did admit that the entire fiasco was becoming a distraction for the government.
“I have therefore decided to step back from the government so that I can comply fully with the complaints process that is underway and clear my name of any wrongdoing,” he said in the letter, which he published on Twitter.
He also added, “It is with real sadness that I tender my resignation.” Sunak replied to the letter, expressing “great sadness” about Williamson’s exit but said he supported his decision.
To regain the trust and loyalty of his Conservative peers following Liz Truss’s disastrous exit from the government, Sunak appointed ministers from all wings of the party.
But Williamson’s appointment raised eyebrows since the minister was fired as defence secretary in 2019 over an alleged national security leak. Moreover, last year he found himself in hot waters after his parents criticised the government’s handling of the pandemic and schools during his time as education secretary.
Williamson’s departure, according to the opposition Labour Party, is a “damning reflection of a weak prime leader.”
“This is simply another example of Rishi Sunak’s poor judgement and inadequate leadership,” Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner remarked.
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