UK minister resigns over bullying claims

STORY: Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is taking another hit, with minister Gavin Williamson resigning from his government on Tuesday over claims of bullying.

The junior Cabinet Office minister said he made the move to “comply fully” with an investigation into whether he had bullied colleagues while in previous roles.

Sunak has come under pressure for some of his ministerial choices, after he was elected as Britain's third prime minister in the span of two months, under the promise of restoring integrity to the heart of government.

Williamson was one of them – he had previously been sacked from roles as minister of defense and of education by Sunak's predecessors Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

Since his fresh appointment two weeks ago, British media have reported accusations by colleagues that Williamson had treated government officials aggressively and sent expletive-laden messages to colleagues.

Including one message that told an official to "slit your throat".

In a letter to Sunak on Tuesday, Williamson said he refuted the characterization of the messages.

But that he recognized that they were becoming a distraction for the government.

He said in the letter, which he published on Twitter:

"I have therefore decided to step back from government so that I can comply fully with the complaints process that is underway and clear my name of any wrongdoing."

Adding that, "It is with real sadness that I tender my resignation."

Sunak on Tuesday evening said he accepts the resignation “with great sadness," and supports Williamson's decision to step back.