Gavin Williamson has resigned as a government minister amid a number of allegations over abusive behaviour towards colleagues.
In a statement to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the Cabinet Office minister said he refutes the allegations but said they were “becoming a distraction” for the government.
Williamson’s resignation marks the first within Sunak’s government.
Accepting Williamson’s resignation “with great sadness”, Sunak said: “I would like to thank you for your personal support and loyalty.”
It comes as Williamson faces a series of inquiries into his conduct as fresh allegations emerged about his “unethical and immoral” behaviour.
No 10 is carrying out a fact-finding exercise following claims Williamson told a senior civil servant to “slit your throat”, while the Tory party and Parliament’s bullying watchdog are looking into allegations made by former chief whip Wendy Morton.
The Prime Minister’s decision to give a Cabinet-level role to the twice-sacked minister has led to questions about his judgment from critics.
Williamson said he would continue to support the government from the back benches and will comply with the complaints process.