Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”For the record, I did not know about any of the specific concerns relating to [Gavin Williamson’s] conduct as Secretary of State or as Chief Whip, which date back some years”

PM Rishi Sunak, House of Commons

Facts

During Prime Minister’s Questions, PM Rishi Sunak claimed that he “did not know about any specific concerns” relating to the conduct of Gavin Williamson as Secretary of State or as Chief Whip ahead of his decisions to appoint Williamson as Minister of State.     

The former Conservative Party chairman, Sir Jake Berry, has publicly stated that he informed the Prime Minister of a complaint in advance of his appointment of Williamson. He said: “On Monday 24th October, I was made aware, by the chief executive of the Conservative Party, that a complaint had been made to the Conservative Party against Gavin Williamson regarding allegations of bullying and intimidation of parliamentary colleagues. In compliance with protocol, in my capacity as party chairman, I informed both the new Prime Minister and his incoming chief of staff about the complaint on the same day.” It was on 25 October, a day later, that Sunak appointed Williamson to his cabinet. 

Verdict

According to the testimony of then Conservative Party Chairman Sir Jake Berry, Rishi Sunak was told of allegations made against Gavin Williamson before he was appointed to the Cabinet. Sunak went ahead and appointed him. 

Mr Sunak was telling MPs that he was aware that there were serious complaints against Gavin Williamson but he did not know the details. This comment raises questions. Anyone considering a candidate for any job,  let alone one carrying the  responsibility of cabinet minister, would wish to get to the bottom of the matter before making the appointment. By his own account, Mr Sunak chose not to do so.

We emailed Rishi Sunak, Downing Street, Sir Jake Berry & Sir Gavin Williamson offering them the chance to respond. The email was received by all of them, but no reply. 

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