Wednesday, 07 Dec 2022

Senior civil servant claims Gavin Williamson told them to slit your throat

Senior civil servant claims Gavin Williamson told them to slit your throat


Senior civil servant claims Gavin Williamson told them to slit your throat

A senior civil servant claims Gavin Williamson told them to "slit your throat" in what they felt was a sustained campaign of bullying while he was defence secretary.

The Ministry of Defence official told the Guardian Williamson made the extraordinary remarks in front of other civil servants in a meeting, and on a separate occasion told them to "jump out of the window".

The Whitehall aide, who worked closely with the cabinet minister, claimed Williamson "deliberately demeaned and intimidated" them on a regular basis.

They reported the behaviour unofficially to the MoD's head of human resources and took contemporaneous notes of the alleged incidents, but decided against making a formal complaint against the cabinet minister at that time.

Williamson, who was defence secretary from November 2017 until May 2019 when he was sacked after a leak from the national security council, was said to have "shouted and raged".

The senior civil servant, who later left government, said the abuse was so bad that a senior military aide working in the department had later apologised for not calling it out.

Williamson denied that he bullied the civil servant and said he had good working relationships with his officials. However, the Guardian understands that he is not denying that he used those specific words.

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