Tag Archives: Gavin

Raab and Williamson weren’t the only ones: multiple complaints emerge about bullying in government

Gavin Williamson: he resigned rather than allow bullying accusations against him to be investigated in full view of the public. Now Dominic Raab has also been accused. But how many other government ministers are also presiding over a ‘toxic work culture’?

Civil servants have made complaints about bullying by “several ministers” – not just Dominic Raab and Gavin Williamson – but the current system is not adequate to mount a proper investigation, it has been claimed.

Dave Penman, head of the FDA union that represents civil servants, said he had received multiple complaints about several ministers in Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government – but the “toxic work culture” can’t be adequately addressed by current procedures.

As he explains to Sky‘s Kay Burley, he has written to Sunak, calling for reforms to allow proper investigation of complaints against ministers:

As you can tell from the clip, Mr Penman was not interested in bandying around gossip about particular individuals, saying – rightly – that any complaints should be substantiated before they are publicised.

But the allegation is there: bullying is apparently prevalent in not just one or two but several government departments.

After failures by previous prime ministers – notably Boris Johnson, who defended Priti Patel in the face of the evidence – there isn’t even an independent investigator in place.

Sunak will need to be seen to act quickly on this matter.

But will he? Or is this yet another episode in which he’ll prove himself to be weak?

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Serial quitter Gavin Williamson is out of his latest government job after bullying claims

Gavin Williamson: he’s out in the cold again.

Gavin Williamson has resigned as Minister Without Portfolio in the Tory government, saying he did not want to become a distraction from its work.

He also said he wanted to clear his name from the bullying claims that have dogged him for the last few days.

As ITV’s news anchor Tom Bradby said, reporting the resignation, there might still be time for him to appear on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here along with former Conservative colleague Matt Hancock. Indeed, stranger things have happened this autumn.

Williamson’s last Cabinet role ended when he was sacked as Education Secretary in September last year.

At the time, I wrote the following:

England’s education system is (momentarily) stronger with the announcement that Gavin Williamson has been sacked from his post as the minister in charge, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle by Boris Johnson.

His two-year tenure stands as testament to the fact that having no Education Secretary is better than having him in the role.

Incompetent Williamson’s failures are fast becoming the stuff of legend, with the headline disasters well-known to all of us:

In 2020, when A-level students could not take their exams because of Covid-19, he used a algorithm to allocate marks – that was rigged to make it seem that privately-educated pupils were more intelligent than the riff-raff from the state system that he ran.

He later tried to force disadvantaged, black and minority ethnic children in England to take exams when other kids didn’t have to, claiming that they respond better to examination conditions. It seemed clear racism – an attempt to put these children down with duff results.

He made it clear that the government expected all schools to open as normal in January this year – then closed them after just one day because prime minister Boris Johnson ordered a new lockdown and he was unaware of it.

He decided to foist Latin as a subject onto state school pupils, rather than anything useful. At the time I wrote: “Having killed the economy with Brexit and enormous numbers of the population with Covid-19, the Tories now want us all to learn a dead language.”

He scrapped dozens of legal rights for children.

He also wanted a clampdown on indiscipline in schools after the return from Covid-19 lockdown – but provided no evidence whatsoever to support his wild claim that our children had gone feral.

Before Boris Johnson gave him the bullet, it was suggested that Williamson would blame school pupils and parents if Covid-19 infections spike after the start of the school term.

Prior to that, he was Defence Secretary under Theresa May – but was sacked from that job too.

In May 2019, I wrote:

Theresa May has sacked Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary, saying she has “lost confidence in his ability to serve in the role of defence secretary and as a member of her cabinet”.

It appears he is to take responsibility for an embarrassing leak from the National Security Council, stating that Huawei is to take a contract to help provide the UK’s 5G network, despite concerns over spyware funnelling information to the Chinese government.

But was he really to blame?

Mr Williamson himself is on the record as swearing on his children’s life that he had nothing to do with the leak.

But it seems an inquiry run by Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill has found that he was responsible for the leak, which has angered the United States government, which has banned Huawei from government networks and pressurised the UK to do the same.

Alternatively, some have suggested that the US is simply protecting its interests, saying Huawei provides better service than American firms.

According to The Independent, Mr Williamson is said to believe his firing was “politically motivated”.

It has also been alleged that Williamson was knighted on the wishes of Boris Johnson because he knew of connections between Johnson and Russia that the former prime minister wanted to keep quiet.

So there are certainly a lot of claims about Williamson. Did he ever clear up those previous allegations? Not as far as This Writer is aware.

Will he clear his reputation of this new stain on it?

Well, what do you think?

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Has Anti-Bullying Week come a few days early for Gavin Williamson?

Gavin Williamson: will he be smiling after the latest accusations against him have been evaluated?

Schools across the country will be taking part in an annual Anti-Bullying Week from November 14-18 – and it seems to have arrived a little earlier for accused Minister Without Portfolio Gavin Williamson.

The week’s events are based around a theme of reaching out to somebody you trust for help against bullying.

The publicity material states: “Whether it’s in school, at home, in the community or online, let’s reach out and show each other the support we need. Reach out to someone you trust if you need to talk.

“it doesn’t stop with young people. From teachers to parents and influencers to politicians, we all have a responsibility to help each other reach out.”

It seems someone in Westminster has already taken this advice – as it relates to politicians – and reached out with new accusations against Williamson.

According to the BBC,

Sir Gavin told a senior civil servant to “slit your throat” and “jump out of the window” when he was defence secretary.

An unnamed official told the Guardian Sir Gavin, who is now a Cabinet Office minister in Rishi Sunak’s government, “deliberately demeaned and intimidated” them.

The official said they raised concerns to the Ministry of Defence’s human resources department but made no formal complaint.

Williamson has not denied using the language mentioned in the accusation.

But he has issued a statement: “I strongly reject this allegation and have enjoyed good working relationships with the many brilliant officials I have worked with across government.

“No specific allegations have ever been brought to my attention.”

Others appear to have already formed their own conclusions. Professor Tim Wilson’s is persuasive:

“He has no idea of the connection between the things he says and the meaning they have.

“There seems to be a gap between what people say and what they think they mean, so people are quite free with their stories and their fantasies and their threats and they don’t realise that these are taken seriously by the people who hear them.”

In fact, this may be an extremely charitable appraisal!

But Prof Wilson does go on to say that Williamson isn’t the only person in Westminster indulging in offensive language: “This is a culture of nastiness; it’s a culture of bullying and it needs to be exposed and rooted out.

“Every minister tainted with bullying needs to go.”

In an interview with Kay Burley on Sky News, Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride may have made matters worse by referring to Cronus, the Tarantula spider that Williamson kept in his office when he was Tory Chief Whip.

He said the threat was there but Williamson had never released the arachnid to bite anybody – which seems unhelpful against allegations of bullying:

It is good to note that an investigation into Williamson’s words to Wendy Morton (another now-former Chief Whip) are now the subject of an official investigation, which This Writer understands is being overseen by the Independent Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone.

She’s the official who Boris Johnson wanted to de-fang and force to resign after Owen Paterson was accused of corruption late last year.

Let us hope she performs her duty to the limits of her ability to do so.

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‘Bullying’ minister has not apologised, say sources

Sunak and Williamson: the image is from before Williamson was Education Secretary. Why is Sunak now dragging his heels instead of sacking Williamson from his current job?

Embattled Minister Without Portfolio Gavin Williamson has not apologised to former Chief Whip Wendy Morton after sending her a series of abusive messages, according to friends of hers.

We now know that Ms Morton complained to the Conservative Party about his conduct on October 24. It is now two weeks later and party authorities have not confirmed whether they have launched a formal investigation and neither MP has been informed of any inquiry, as would be required if the party process were being followed.

Ex-Conservative Party Chair Jake Berry has said he told Rishi Sunak of the complaint on the day it was made.

Controversy has arisen because Sunak subsequently made Williamson a Cabinet minister.

Morton handed Williamson’s messages to the Conservative Party on October 26, two days after she made her complaint – but Sunak insists that he did not see them until they were published in The Sunday Times yesterday (November 6).

Do you believe that? It’s possible, but seems unlikely to This Writer.

Meanwhile, Williamson’s only comment seems to have been to the newspaper, stating, “I of course regret getting frustrated about the way colleagues and I felt we were being treated.”

Sunak has said the comments were “not acceptable” but 10 Downing Street has insisted that the prime minister still has confidence in Williamson.

Why would he?

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No sooner is Gavin Williamson back in the Cabinet than he is causing trouble

Gavin Williamson: he’s in trouble for sending abusive messages to a former Tory Chief Whip.

Gavin Williamson, newly-appointed Minister Without Portfolio in Rishi Sunak’s government, has been causing trouble again.

It has been alleged that Williamson sent abusive texts to former Chief Whip Wendy Morton on September 13 – so it has taken a while to come to light, complaining that he and other colleagues had been excluded from the Queen’s funeral for political reasons.

Here are the most offending messages:

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden fielded questions about it from Sky’s Sophy Ridge.

Other people have different opinions:

“If I had been told that one of my closest allies was a puerile man-child, I think I would have remembered.” Well said, Phil Moorhouse!

This one’s short and sweet:

So it looks like Rishi Sunak’s government will have Cabinet resignations sooner in its tenure than Liz Truss’s.

After Sunak put in all that work to defend Suella Braverman, Gavin Williamson has swept up from behind and turned himself into a sacrificial lamb.

With Braverman still in the firing line, and a dearth of talent on the backbenches, it seems Sunak’s steady government is already on the wobble.

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Gavin Esler lays down why the Tories are probably on the way out, no matter who becomes PM

Veteran TV reporter: Gavin Esler.

Here’s a nifty little video clip for you:

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Is this really the ‘skeleton’ in Johnson’s closet that Williamson is being knighted to hide?

‘Keep your mouth shut and there’ll be a knighthood in it for you,’ Johnson could be saying here. But it seems Gavin Williamson couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Did he say anything worth knowing?

The announcement that Boris Johnson was giving double Cabinet failure Gavin Williamson a knighthood has prompted a wave of speculation about what the real reason for it might be.

This Site has already published an article about it. Nobody believes the award is for “services to the public and to politics”.

Now it seems that investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr may have uncovered at least one reason for it – and it refers to Johnson’s links with Russia.

She has published her evidence in a Twitter thread that you can find here. For brevity, I’ll refer to a summary from Yorkshire Bylines, which states:

Cadwalladr explains as follows:

Williamson was appointed secretary of state for defence on 2 November 2017, shortly after the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed it was investigating suspected Russian assets/agents operating in London, some of whom had met with Foreign Office officials, including Boris Johnson, then foreign secretary, and Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, who had been accused of being the link between Russia and the Trump campaign. Johnson subsequently denied meeting Mifsud, until a photograph emerged.

Cadwalladr had previously been writing about Russian connections to Brexit and the Conservative Party. On 4 November 2017, she reported that the Observer had been told by a British intelligence officer that “The entire city (of London) is a nest of spies … There’s more espionage activity here now than there was even at the height of the cold war”.

She maintains that she subsequently received information that a person “high up in government” rang Richard Tice, founder of the Vote Leave Campaign and director of the Brexit (now Reform) Party, with some information to pass onto his political journalist partner, Isabel Oakeshott.

Oakeshott’s statement was that “I am in no doubt that [Leave.EU campaigners] [Arron] Banks and [Andy] Wigmore have been acting as agents of influence for the Russian state… The material clearly shows that they discussed Brexit and personal enrichment opportunities with senior Russian officials. They met several times with men they knew to be members of Russian intelligence services and passed them sensitive documents. They claim to be patriots, but when the UK and Russia had a political dispute, they publicly and privately supported the Russian position.”

Ms Cadwalladr then tweeted that the “source believed that person who tipped off Tice about Banks’s Russian connections was…drum roll…Gavin Williamson, then sec of defence”.

She explains that there are still areas of this situation that are opaque to the British people, but what we do know is that the FBI’s investigation came to London, that key individuals and organisations were based here, and that one of these individuals was Johnson “knee deep in Russian connections and money”. And indeed, May seems to have responded directly to this information with her ‘we know what you are doing, Russia’ speech.

The article concludes:

Williamson appears to be in possession of information that the prime minister does not want to appear in the press at the time the western world sits aghast with horror at the actions of the Russian state. If he will not answer questions on this point, the question for the British people is clear: do we really want a government that works in this clearly corrupt manner? And if we don’t, what are we going to do about it?

This Writer has not seen the documents that apparently induced Ms Oakeshott to say that Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore were working for Russia.

And there is no readily-apparent connection between the claims about them and any Russian influence on Johnson.

But there is enough here to justify an investigation into whether these named people were connected with – or influenced by – Russian agents (or were agents of Russia themselves).

What does Williamson know? And does it in fact relate to Boris Johnson?

What about Banks and Wigmore? Are the allegations correct? If not, then why were lies released to a journalist, and what made her believe them? If so, then it is important for their involvement to be revealed, along with the names of anybody they know to be part of this apparent web of intrigue.

Did Russia hijack the UK’s referendum on membership of the EU in order to weaken this country and Europe?

And if Boris Johnson is one of those involved, it is vital that we know the facts.

Because – if true – then this is potentially treason.

Source: The Russia connection: defying gravity, reality … and treason?

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Knighthood for dunce Williamson: confirmation that Johnson wants to ‘keep skeletons in closet’?

Gavin Williamson: another honour for the Tory Party’s ‘Mr Stupid’ – to ensure he doesn’t reveal all Boris Johnson’s guilty little secrets?

Twice-sacked Tory ministerial failure Gavin Williamson is to be knighted – for reasons that none of us can understand.

The government is saying he’ll have the honour “for political and public service”, but his record of service to politics and the public is so shockingly bad that a prison sentence for treason would be more appropriate.

He has been sacked from two ministerial posts – as secretary of state for education and defence – after causing huge scandals.

The Huffington Post has listed just some of his worst offences:

His handling of disruption to schools during the height of the pandemic and the grading of GCSEs and A-levels after exams were cancelled was widely seen as disastrous.

The firing from defence came following an inquiry into the leak of information from a security council meeting about Chinese telecoms firm Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G mobile network. Williamson denied being the source of the leak, despite having an 11-minute conversation with a journalist that broke the story.

Away from policy errors, Williamson is perhaps best-known in British politics for his habit of making a gaffe.

In September, Williamson confused footballer Marcus Rashford with another sports star. [He] told the Evening Standard that he had met Rashford, a prominent campaigner for free school meals, while it was later revealed he had actually met rugby union player, Maro Itoje. Both men are black.

Last year, Williamson said he did not remember what A-Level grades he received – despite remembering opening the envelope.

In the wake of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in 2018, Williamson … said: “Frankly, Russia should go away and should shut up.” The tenor of his warning clearly had little effect.

Days after his Rashford gaffe, Williamson urged teachers to return to in-person teaching – during a virtual appearance at a conference.

Williamson was told off by parliamentary authorities after using Instagram in the House of Commons.

In 2018, Williamson was attempting to deliver a speech on Isis in the Middle East when a voice coming from his jacket pocket interrupted proceedings. Siri could be heard saying: “Hi Gavin, I found something on the web for: ‘In Syria, democratic forces supported by…’”

The list of Gavin’s gaffes is very long indeed.

So, why the knighthood?

Well, he did run Boris Johnson’s campaign to become the Conservative Party’s leader in 2019. Some say he was given his cabinet position as Education Secretary as a reward; it certainly seemed incongruous after previous PM Theresa May had sacked him from Defence.

But the smart view is that, as an intimate colleague of Johnson, Williamson is getting the honour in order to keep him quiet – to prevent him from exposing any “skeletons in the prime minister’s closet” of which he has knowledge:

The Prime Minister fears the backbencher could open up on what he saw when he was running his leadership campaign, and a knighthood is seen by some as the price for buying his silence.

But such a move is likely to anger teachers, unions and pupils and risks further disillusioning the public as he allegedly held a Christmas party at the Department of Education (DoE) in December 2020.

The party was hosted at the DoE cafe in Westminster and up to two dozen staffers attended.

The DfE did not deny Covid rules had been broken and admitted “it would have been better” not to have held the event while the rest of the country was banned from doing so.

If this is the real reason, then it is simply more evidence of Boris Johnson’s corruption – and of the corruption that infects the heart of the UK government that accepts him as its leader:

Who can argue with that?

Source: Gavin Williamson could receive knighthood from Boris Johnson in bid ‘to keep skeletons in closet’

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Tory dunce Williamson is latest MP accused of PPE corruption

Gavin Williamson: an artist’s impression of the suspect.

Gavin Williamson used to be Education Secretary before his many stupidities forced Boris Johnson to dump him onto the backbenches.

He had nothing to do with Covid-19 as part of his job.

So what possible reason could he have had for pushing Technicare onto the infamous ‘VIP lane’ for PPE contracts?

And – worse – why did current ministers at the Department for Health and Social Care leave his name off a list of ministers and MPs who referred companies to the VIP lane used to fast-track firms with links to ministers, MPs and officials?

His involvement was revealed after the government – quietly – updated its list to include Technicare, trading as Blyth Group Ltd – and revealed for the first time that Mr Williamson had referred them.

Does it seem to you that somebody in a high place was trying to pull the wool over our eyes – hide the ex-minister’s involvement in unlawful behaviour?

The Government’s use of the ‘VIP lane’ was ruled unlawful by the High Court last month, following a legal challenge brought by the Good Law Project and campaign group EveryDoctor.

If this stuff had been any good, it might not have been quite so bad. But…

At least 51 firms are understood to have been handed more than £4 billion worth of PPE contracts – all without competition – after being referred to the VIP lane.

DHSC documents show £673m worth of PPE purchased by the government – some of which was obtained through the VIP lane – was not suitable for use in health settings.

A further £750m worth of PPE and equipment was not used before its expiry date.

Williamson’s name joins those of Michael Gove, Matt Hancock and Grant Shapps among the 48 people or groups who referred companies to the fast track.

Some of the firms that won contracts and failed to fulfil them took cash from organisations with proven track records – thereby endangering citizens of the UK.

Because of that, these MPs should face a serious penalty for having used a secret system to boost amateurs over professionals.

But we live in the age of “one rule for us and no rule for them”. Will there be any justice at all?

Source: Gavin Williamson referred firm for £1.7m ‘VIP lane’ PPE deal, ministers admit – Mirror Online

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Good riddance, Gavin! Williamson sacked as Education Secretary

Ooh, don’t have a Betty: Gavin Williamson was dubbed the Frank Spencer of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet due to his ineptitude and lack of intelligence. Worse still, he didn’t have the heart that Michael Crawford gave his comedy character. In fact, let’s face it – Williamson has no redeeming features at all.

England’s education system is (momentarily) stronger with the announcement that Gavin Williamson has been sacked from his post as the minister in charge, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle by Boris Johnson.

His two-year tenure stands as testament to the fact that having no Education Secretary is better than having him in the role.

Incompetent Williamson’s failures are fast becoming the stuff of legend, with the headline disasters well-known to all of us:

In 2020, when A-level students could not take their exams because of Covid-19, he used a algorithm to allocate marks – that was rigged to make it seem that privately-educated pupils were more intelligent than the riff-raff from the state system that he ran.

He later tried to force disadvantaged, black and minority ethnic children in England to take exams when other kids didn’t have to, claiming that they respond better to examination conditions. It seemed clear racism – an attempt to put these children down with duff results.

He made it clear that the government expected all schools to open as normal in January this year – then closed them after just one day because prime minister Boris Johnson ordered a new lockdown and he was unaware of it.

He decided to foist Latin as a subject onto state school pupils, rather than anything useful. At the time I wrote: “Having killed the economy with Brexit and enormous numbers of the population with Covid-19, the Tories now want us all to learn a dead language.”

He scrapped dozens of legal rights for children.

He also wanted a clampdown on indiscipline in schools after the return from Covid-19 lockdown – but provided no evidence whatsoever to support his wild claim that our children had gone feral.

Before Boris Johnson gave him the bullet, it was suggested that Williamson would blame school pupils and parents if Covid-19 infections spike after the start of the school term.

It’s still too early to tell whether that has happened but we will be able to judge his successor by whether they choose to follow the same cowardly strategy.

If Johnson continues to follow his “Cabinet of all the idiots” strategy (he thinks it makes him look like the intelligent one) then our children’s education may be in for an even worse battering.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook