The Independent Expert Panel has ruled that Sir Gavin Williamson broke Parliament’s Bullying and Harassment Policy over his tantrum at Wendy Morton. The panel said he must apologise to the Commons and undergo training, after erupting last year at Morton for not being invited to the Queen’s funeral:
“[The panel] concluded that Sir Gavin should make an apology by way of a personal statement to the House and undergo training to avoid a repetition of similar behaviour and increase his awareness of the impact of bullying on others…”
The former Education Secretary sent on an anti-bullying course…
Read the full dossier below…
The approval of Mike Wood MP as the candidate for the new seat of Kingswinford & South Staffordshire has gone down like the proverbial bucket of cold sick, after Greg Hands has been accused of intervening to stitch-up the process. Mike had a clear first stab at the re-jigged constituency, comprised of his own seat and Gavin Williamson’s current home, after Gavin opted for the new Stone, Great Wyrley and Penkridge seat instead. Local Tories weren’t going to let this happen so easily.
The contest to approve Mike’s re-adoption was incredibly close fought and tensions boiled over after one activist was found to have cast their vote despite having an invalid membership. According to one local source, this lead to an “enormous” number of local complaints and they had right to be aggrieved. Due to the close nature of the contest, Guido hears that one vote could have been “meaningful”…
Following these developments, the South Staffordshire Area Chairman wrote to activists, explaining that he had sent a report to CCHQ detailing potential next steps. This was swiftly ignored following “a recommendation” from the Party Chairman and Mike Wood was successfully adopted. Unsurprisingly, local activists, who still hold animosity towards CCHQ after controversy surrounding nearby MP Theo Clarke’s re-selection, aren’t happy. One activist said Greg had to make sure “his cronies got what they wanted” as another involved in the selection lamented that “all I want to see is democracy”. CCHQ invariably tries to tip the scales in favour of incumbents. Nevertheless it all seems a bit heavy handed from Greg.
Co-conspirators can read the full letter from the Staffordshire Area Chairman below:
Entries in the comments…
Just as a preliminary note, Gavin Williamson was a terrible bully. Awful. He was just no good at it at all. His one accomplishment was in persuading people he had a talent for it. The spider on his desk. The creepy smile. The dead-fish handshake. The official positions he mysteriously acquired. But the vast majority of his techniques – the ones we saw in text form – were pitiful. Nothing he said or did needed any other reaction than, “Gavin. You’re a nob. Don’t talk to me anymore.’
That said – Keir’s first serve was a tempting lob. He said, with what pulp fiction writers call deadly emphasis, that Gavin Williamson “had told a civil servant to – slit – their – throat.” Many ripostes sprang to mind, none of which would have been, on reflection, prime ministerial. Guido smothered more than one snort of laughter and just as well, what with the pious silence into which the benches had sunk.
“How does he think the victim of that bullying felt when he expressed great sadness at his resignation?” Keir asked. Rishi didn’t know the answer to that, but who did? Who could possibly guess how the news was received. With raucous laughter? Jubilant finger-pointing at the wireless? Celebratory sexual intercourse? A haka?
Rishi made a prime ministerial show of sorrow. He is, remember, perfectly good at the despatch box although his apology looks a little unconvincing in cold print. “I obviously regret appointing someone who has had to resign.”
Mel Stride has revealed the government’s latest line of defence for Gavin:
“The reality with Cronus is he was much touted, but he never actually was released to bite anybody.”
Given the Lobby has the attention span of an ADHD child after a bag of Haribo, Suella Braverman must be thanking her lucky stars that Gavin Williamson was around to take the resignation pressure off her.
This weekend saw an escalation of media scrutiny after the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times both received convenient leaks of the ‘abusive’ texts he sent to the then-chief whip Wendy Morton. Rishi and Gavin’s Cabinet Office boss Oliver Dowden have both condemned his language.
A co-conspirator with a long memory has been in touch, however, to relay a fascinating 2006 story from the Northern Echo, in which a spritely and youthful Cllr Morton was one of five Tory councillors accused of bullying senior officers. Allegations that saw Morton quit her seat alongside her husband:
Mrs Morton, who represented Bolton Castle ward and will stand for the Conservatives in Tynemouth, North Tyneside, at the next General Election, was one of five councillors accused of bullying two officers amid claims that a new political group, the Independent Coalition for Richmondshire (ICR), was formed illegally.
It was then claimed by one of the ICR group councillors that Wendy had “failed to apologise to the officer” alleged to have been bullied.
The five councillors, including Wendy, were found guilty of bullying by a council investigation, but were later cleared by the Standards Board for England. Perhaps a lesson in hastily jumping to conclusions and demanding resignations…