Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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UK PM Sunak suffers major blow as minister quits amid bullying allegations

London: Raising an apparent concern over British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s judgement, Gavin Williamson, a cabinet office minister, on Tuesday resigned after mounting allegations that he had bullied colleagues.

United Kingdom’s local media had reported that colleagues had accused Williamson of acting in a bullying manner, sending expletive-laden messages and telling one government official to “slit your throat”.

In his resignation letter posted on Twitter, Williamson said he had apologized to the recipient for the messages and was cooperating with an investigation. However, he rejected claims of bullying in the second incident.

“I refute the characterization of these claims, but I recognize these are becoming a distraction for the good work this government is doing for the British people,” he wrote.

“I have therefore decided to step back from government so that I can comply fully with the complaints process that is underway and clear my name of any wrongdoing.”

Williamson later tweeted he would not be taking any severance pay, adding that the money should go towards the government’s priorities such as “reducing the NHS’s waiting lists”.

Sunak said he accepted Williamson’s resignation “with great sadness” and thanked him for his “personal support and loyalty”.

“Your commitment to successive Conservative governments and the party over the years has been unwavering,” he said.

The minister’s resignation came at a time when Sunak’s choice of some of his ministers has come under intense scrutiny.

Leaders of opposition parties have demanded the resignation of Home Secretary Suella Braverman, whom Sunak reappointed days after she resigned from Truss’s cabinet for breaching the rules on ministerial conduct.

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