Oliver Dowden admits Sunak is aware of Gavin Williamson bullying complaint
An ally of Rishi Sunak has admitted that the prime minister was informed about the bullying allegations against twice-sacked Gavin Williamson before he gave him a position in his cabinet.
On Sky News, Oliver Dowden was asked five times whether the prime minister – as Jake Berry, a former party chair, has claimed – was told about the complaint lodged by Wendy Morton, the former chief whip.
He ducked the question, saying Mr Sunak was not aware of the expletive texts, before eventually acknowledging Mr Berry had “highlighted” her protest to the prime minister, thereby provoking a fresh crisis for the Conservative government.
Brandon Lewis, the former Northern Ireland Secretary, said bullying should never be seen as “an inevitable part of our political life”, after Mr Dowden attempted to brush off Sir Gavin’s expletive-laden texts to the former Tory chief whip messages as a “heat of the moment” mistake.
In the texts, revealed by The Sunday Times, Sir Gavin told Ms Morton “you f*** us all over” in anger at being excluded from the Queen’s funeral, adding: “There is a price for everything.”
‘Disappointed’ Rishi Sunak says Matt Hancock ‘letting down voters’ by joining I’m a Celeb
Rishi Sunak criticised Matt Hancock on Sunday evening for heading to the jungle to take part in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!
The prime minister said he was “very disappointed” in the former health secretary and said that MPs should be “working hard for their constituents”.
In comments reported by The Sun while on his way to the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, he added: “I think his constituents have expressed their view.”
Namita Singh7 November 2022 05:00
ICYMI: Fears UK will break climate crisis pledge for poor nations after failure to reveal funding
As the crucial Cop27 summit opens, the government is refusing to set out its recent contributions to a crucial global fund – despite Boris Johnson pledging to boost spending to an average of £2.3bn a year.
Read the details in this exclusive from our deputy political editor Rob Merrick:
Namita Singh7 November 2022 04:58
Jeremy Hunt plans £35bn spending cut amid recession warning
The chancellor is also expected to announce tax rises totalling at least £25bn in his statement on 17 November, which was pushed back from its original date of 31 October.
Some of the tax rises being considered include freezing income tax thresholds, targeting dividend tax relief, a raid on capital gains allowances and the 40 per cent pensions tax relief on pension savings for those earning more than £50,270, The Guardian reports.
My colleague Lamiat Sabin reports:
Namita Singh7 November 2022 04:40
Sunak accused of ‘vacuum of leadership’ as climate summit gets underway
Rishi Sunak has been accused of a “vacuum of leadership”, as he arrives at the make-or-break Cop27 summit to a warning that climate breakdown is now close to being “irreversible”.
As he left for Egypt, for one night only, Mr Sunak argued it is still possible to “limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees”, the point above which runaway climate change will be unstoppable.
Namita Singh7 November 2022 04:30
Rishi Sunak ally admits he knew of bullying claim against Gavin Williamson
The Cabinet Office minister also claimed the former education and defence secretary regretted the language he used, although he initially denied doing anything wrong.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports:
Namita Singh7 November 2022 04:23
Welcome to The Independent’s blog on UK politics for Monday, 07 November 2022 where we provide the latest on everything that’s buzzing in Westminster.
Namita Singh7 November 2022 03:57