London: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stands next to a minister accused of bullying a colleague, cabinet minister Oliver Dowden said on Sunday, saying the phone messages in question had been sent “in the heat of the moment”.
The allegations, reported by The Sunday Times newspaper, have surfaced just days after criticizing Sunak for reappointing Suella Braverman as Home Secretary after she was fired by his predecessor for violating email security rules.
The Sunday Times published text messages sent by Gavin Williamson, a cabinet minister, to former Conservative Party chief whip, or enforcer, Wendy Morton, in which he used her criticizing and expletive-ridden language.
The newspaper said he was angry at not being invited to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral and that Morton had made an official complaint to the ruling party.
“These were said in the heat of the moment to express frustration. It was a difficult time for the party. I think he now accepts that he shouldn’t have done it and he regrets that he did,” Dowden told Sky News.
“He shouldn’t have sent those messages… But of course the Prime Minister continues to have faith in Gavin Williamson.”
The messaging, published by the Timeended with Williamson saying, “Well, let’s see how many times you f–k us everywhere. There’s a price for everything.”
A government source said Sunak was aware of a disagreement between Williamson and Morton.