British local media had reported that colleagues had accused Williamson of bullying, sending profanity-laced messages and telling one government official to “cut your throat”.
In his resignation letter published on Twitter, Williamson said that he apologized to the recipient for the messages and that he cooperated with the investigation. However, he rejected allegations of bullying at another event.
“I dispute the characterization of these allegations but recognize that they are becoming a distraction from the good work this government is doing for the British people,” he wrote.
“I have therefore decided to step down from the board so that I can fully comply with the ongoing appeals process and clear my name of any wrongdoing.”
– Gavin Williamson (@GavinWilliamson) November 8, 2022
Williamson later tweeted that he would not take the severance pay, adding that the money should be used for government priorities such as “shortening NHS waiting lists”.
Sunak said he accepted Williamson’s resignation with “great sadness” and thanked him for his “personal support and loyalty”.
“Your commitment to successive Conservative governments and the party over the years has been unwavering,” he said.
The minister’s resignation took place at a time when Sunak’s choice of some of his ministers has come under close scrutiny.
The leaders of the opposition parties have demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Suella Braverman. Sunak reappointed him days after he resigned from the Truss government for breaching ministerial rules.