Related video: Grant Shapps says Williamson’s text messages to chief whip were ‘unacceptable’
Sir Gavin Williamson has resigned from his cabinet role, saying allegations of bullying against him were “becoming a distraction for the good work this government is doing’’.
His departure comes after his former deputy accused him of engaging in “threatening” and “intimidating” behaviour while chief whip, and seeking to use gossip about Tory MPs drinking, sex lives or mental health problems as “leverage”.
He was already facing multiple investigations – one a formal complaint by Liz Truss’s chief whip Wendy Morton, and the other an informal Tory probe over claims he told a senior civil servant to “slit your throat”.
Downing Street had earlier insisted that Sir Gavin still had Rishi Sunak’s backing – but indicated that the PM may take action over the allegations prior to the conclusion of the probes if he deems it necessary.
This preceded the explosive new claims by his former deputy Anne Milton, who told Channel 4 News that Sir Gavin had behaved in an “unethical and immoral” way as chief whip, adding: “I think he feels that he’s Francis Urquhart from House Of Cards.”
That’s us wrapping up the liveblog for tonight, thanks for following here.
You can find all of The Independent’s latest articles on UK politics here.
Or else keep scrolling to read about the day’s events, as we reported them.
Andy Gregory8 November 2022 22:57
Welcome to The Independent’s UK politics blog for 8 November 2022, where we provide the latest updates from Westminster.
Namita Singh8 November 2022 04:11
Gavin Williamson reportedly told civil servant ‘slit your throat’
Sir Gavin Williamson allegedly told a senior civil servant to “slit your throat” in what they claimed was a bullying campaign while he was defence secretary.
Rishi Sunak is under increasing pressure over his decision to bring his ally back into government after The Guardian reported fresh incendiary claims about his conduct.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) official told the outlet Sir Gavin made the remarks in front of colleagues in a meeting, and on another occasion told them to “jump out of the window”.
Read more about the allegations against Sir Gavin in this report:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 04:22
Labour attempt to force Sunak to reveal what he knew about Braverman
Labour will attempt to use a vote in the House of Commons to force Rishi Sunak to reveal what he knew about Suella Braverman’s security lapses when he re-appointed her home secretary.
The prime minister is facing questions about his judgement after he put her in his cabinet just days after she was forced to resign for a breach of the ministerial code.
Since then she has admitted that she sent official government documents to her private email on six different occasions.
My colleague Kate Devlin reports:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 04:40
Conservative Party accused of being in ‘denial’ about Islamophobia within its own ranks
The Conservative Party is facing renewed accusations it is failing to tackle Islamophobia – both in society and within its own ranks.
It comes as recent figures show anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise in the UK, and an investigation into alleged Islamophobia by a Tory MP continues.
Read the details in this exclusive from Matt Mathers:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 04:55
Insulating social housing would save tenants £700m a year
Rishi Sunak’s government has been urged to retrofit England’s social housing stock, as a new report found energy-efficiency measures would save tenants £700m a year.
If England’s council and housing association homes were insulated and draft-proofed, energy bills would be cut by 42 per cent and residents would save £567 a year on average, it found.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) research said a major retrofit scheme to fix some of the country’s leakiest homes would benefit the environment and ease the cost of living crisis.
Namita Singh8 November 2022 05:10
Blow to vulnerable states as Rishi Sunak shuns calls for climate reparations
Rishi Sunak has dealt a blow to the developing countries hardest-hit by climate change by shunning appeals for the UK to contribute towards reparations for the natural disasters caused by hundreds of years of industrial pollution.
Thirty-year-old demands for a fund to pay for the permanent loss and damage caused by extreme weather were discussed for the first time on the floor of the Cop27 climate change conference in Egypt, with calls for the UK and other rich nations to join Belgium, Denmark and Scotland in committing cash.
But the prime minister made no reference to the topic in his five-minute speech in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, instead recommitting to a 2020 pledge of £11.6bn for climate funding over five years and tripling to £1.5bn the UK’s contribution towards measures to boost resilience against future disasters.
Read the details in this joint detail from Saphora Smith and Andrew Woodcock:
You can also follow our live coverage of Cop27 in this live blog by my colleague Alisha Rahaman Sarkar:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 05:25
Sunak expresses ‘full confidence’ in Williamson despite ‘unacceptable’ texts
Sir Gavin has voiced “regret” for the expletive-laden texts sent to Wendy Morton, complaining at his exclusion from the congregation for the funeral of the Queen.
But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer today said he was “clearly not suitable” for his job in the Cabinet Office, calling his appointment a sign of how “weak” Mr Sunak is.
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 05:40
Who is Gavin Williamson? Government minister accused of bullying who was sacked twice
The behaviour of Sir Gavin Williamson is under the spotlight again amid claims he brought up a colleague’s private life during a conversation in an alleged bid to strong-arm her into voting with the government of the day.
It came just a day after a separate report emerged showing that Sir Gavin, knighted by ex-prime minister Boris Johnson earlier this year, sent expletive-laden texts to the Conservative Party former chief whip in a row over tickets to the late Queen’s funeral, sparking bullying claims.
Rishi Sunak appointed Sir Gavin to his government during last month’s reshuffle, raising the eyebrows of opposition MPs – as well as some of those on the government benches.
Namita Singh8 November 2022 05:55
Sunak considering raising state pension in line with inflation
Rishi Sunak is considering raising state pensions and benefits in line with inflation in a move that would likely usher in deeper public spending cuts elsewhere and higher tax rises.
The prime minister and chancellor Jeremy Hunt are considering imposing up to £60 billion in tax rises and spending cuts in the autumn budget on 17 November.
Treasury sources insisted no decisions have been taken, but did not deny a report in the Times stating they would avoid real-terms cuts on pensions and benefits.
Namita Singh8 November 2022 06:10