Gavin Williamson faces investigation over abusive messages to chief whip

Williamson was given a role in Rishi Sunak's government after he succeeded Liz Truss.

Gavin Williamson faces investigation over abusive messages to Conservative chief whip Flickr

Gavin Williamson is facing an investigation over abusive and threatening messages sent to a Conservative colleague complaining about not being invited to the Queen’s funeral.

The Cabinet Office minister, who was a backbencher at the time, accused the then Tory chief whip Wendy Morton of using the death of the monarch to “punish” senior MPs who were out of favour with Liz Truss’ government.

In an exchange of messages, obtained by The Sunday Times, he concluded by telling Morton: “Well let’s see how many more times you f*** us all over. There is a price for everything.”

Williamson was given a role in Rishi Sunak’s government after he succeeded Truss in No 10.

However, according to the newspaper, then Conservative Party chairman Jake Berry told Sunak the day before he entered Downing Street that a formal complaint had been submitted from Morton to the party about Williamson’s conduct.

Morton and Berry both lose their jobs in the ensuing reshuffle while Williamson, a support of Sunak, returned to government.

In text messages sent on September 13 that have been handed to the party, Williamson told Morton that it was “very poor and sends a very clear message” that members of the privy council – the 734 politicians and civil servants who advise the sovereign – who were not “favoured” by Truss were being “excluded from the funeral” at Westminster Abbey.

Morton repeatedly insisted that his claims were unfounded and that the Government had been allocated an “extremely limited” number of tickets, most of which went to members of the Cabinet.

Williamson responded: “Well certainly looks it which think is very s*** and perception becomes reality. Also don’t forget I know how this works so don’t puss (sic) me about.

“It’s very clear how you are going to treat a number of us which is very stupid and you are showing f*** all interest in pulling things together.

“Also this shows exactly how you have rigged it is is (sic) disgusting that you are using her death to punish people who are just supportive, absolutely disgusting.

“Well let’s see how many more times you f*** us all over. There is a price for everything.”

Berry told The Sunday Times that he was informed by the Conservative Party chief executive on October 24 that a complaint had been made against Williamson regarding allegations of “bullying and intimidation of parliamentary colleagues”.

He added: “In compliance with protocol, in my capacity as party chairman, I informed both the new Prime Minister and his incoming chief of staff about the complaint on the same day.”

Williamson was made a privy councillor and awarded a knighthood by Boris Johnson when he was prime minister earlier this year.

He was sacked first by Theresa May as defence secretary for leaking details of a national security council meeting and then by Johnson as education secretary over the exams fiasco amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “The Conservative Party has a robust complaints process in place.

“This process is rightly a confidential one, so that complainants can come forward in confidence.”

Williamson told the newspaper: “I of course regret getting frustrated about the way colleagues and I felt we were being treated.

“I am happy to speak with Wendy and I hope to work positively with her in the future as I have in the past.”

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