Independent Expert Panel requires Sir Gavin Williamson MP to apologise in the House of Commons for breach of Bullying and Harassment Policy
4 September 2023 (updated on 4 September 2023)
The Independent Expert Panel (IEP) has today [4th September] published a report that finds that Sir Gavin Williamson MP committed a breach of the Bullying and Harassment Policy. It has required him to make an apology in the House of Commons and undergo training.
The sub-panel considering the case found that Sir Gavin had bullied Wendy Morton MP in September 2022 when she was Government Chief Whip during an exchange of text messages relating to his not being allocated tickets to the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Ms Morton made a complaint about these messages to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) in November 2022.
The IEP sub-panel considering the case agreed with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards that the texts were “offensive and intimidating behaviour”. It concluded that Sir Gavin’s conduct was an abuse of power, finding that it had gone beyond vigorous complaint or political disagreement to a threat to lever his power and authority as a former Chief Whip to undermine Ms Morton personally.
The sub-panel determined, having considered the wishes of the complainant, that the appropriate sanction was to require Sir Gavin to make an unreserved apology by way of a personal statement in the House, and to undertake appropriate behaviour training. Sir Gavin accepted this decision.