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Ex-cabinet minister Sir Gavin Williamson told to apologise to MPs for bullying former chief whip | Politics News

Former cabinet minister Sir Gavin Williamson should apologise to MPs for bullying former chief whip Wendy Morton after he was not allocated tickets to the late Queen’s funeral, a panel has said.

Allegations were made against the ex-education secretary – who had also formerly served as a chief whip – back November last year after Sir Gavin sent a number of text messages to her, including one that warned her “there is a price for everything”.

But while parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme investigator concluded Sir Gavin was in breach of bullying and harassment policy, the decision was overturned by the Standards Commissioner Daniel Greenberg, leading Ms Morton to appeal.

The Independent Expert Panel (IEP), which handles such cases, today upheld her complaint and ruled Sir Gavin should make a personal statement to the House apologising for his actions, as well as undergo training “to avoid a repetition of similar behaviour and increase his awareness of the impact of bullying on others”.

They described the messages as “an abuse of power” and said his conduct had “gone beyond vigorous complaint or political disagreement to a threat to lever his power and authority as a former chief whip to undermine her personally as revenge”.

The IEP said it had “considered carefully” whether he should face suspension from the Commons but had instead decided a “full and unreserved apology”, along with behaviour training, was required.

The IEP’s report said Sir Gavin sent Ms Morton text messages after he did not receive an invitation to the funeral, which he attributed to his having not supported the then-prime minister Liz Truss in the recent leadership election.

The exchange concluded with him saying: “Well lets see how many more times you f*** us all over. There is a price for everything.”

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