Dowden points to difficult relationship MPs have with Morton

Gavin Williamson allegedly sent abusive text messages to Morton

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The Prime Minister was aware that Sir Gavin Williamson was the subject of a complaint for allegedly bullying a colleague when he brought him back into the Government, a senior cabinet minister has said. The Sunday Times disclosed that then-party chairman Sir Jake Berry informed Mr Sunak when he became prime minister that the then-chief whip Wendy Morton had complained about a series of texts sent to her by Sir Gavin. Oliver Dowden, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, confirmed that Mr Sunak had been aware of the complaint when he made Sir Gavin a Cabinet Office minister but said he had not known the details of the exchanges.

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Dowden said: “He shouldn’t have sent those messages and he says regrets it.

“Of course the Prime Minister continues to have confidence in him as a minister.”

He added: “It’s no secret that Gavin Williamson and other backbenchers had a difficult relationship with the chief whip.

“It is not the case that the Prime Minister saw this exchange of text messages until they were leaked to newspapers.

“He was aware there was a difficult relationship between the chief whip and a number of backbenchers in which Gavin Williamson was one.”

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