Gavin Williamson has responded to the PM’s letter. Read it in full:
Dear Prime Minister,
It has been a great privilege to serve as Defence Secretary and Chief Whip in your Government. Every day I have seen the extraordinary work of the men and women of our armed forces, who go to incredible lengths to defend our country.
I am sorry that you feel recent leaks from the National Security Council originated in my Department. I emphatically believe this was not the case. I strenuously deny that I was in any way involved in this leak and I am confident that a thorough and formal inquiry would have vindicated my position.
I have always trusted my civil servants, military advisers and staff. I believe the assurances they have given me.
I appreciate you offering me the option to resign, but to resign would have been to accept that I, my civil servants, my military advisers or my staff were responsible: this was not the case.
Restoring public confidence in the NSC is an ambition we both share. With that in mind I hope that your decision achieves this aim rather than being seen as a temporary distraction.
As I said there has been no greater privilege than working with our armed forces and I will continue to stand up for our service personnel and the superb work they do.
He’s not backing down…