BBC reports Tory whips planned to stamp to death Williamsons spider

Tory whips planned to 'stamp' on Williamson's pet claims Watt

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Sir Gavin Williamson has resigned from his Cabinet post as Minister without Portfolio following accusations of unacceptable behaviour towards his parliamentary colleagues. A string of allegations against the Tory MP have emerged after the Sunday Times released evidence of abusive texts sent by Sir Gavin to former Conservative chief whip Wendy Morton. During a BBC Newsnight broadcast, political editor Nick Watt suggested Sir Gavin had a longstanding reputation of deplorable behaviour within the Government, which had led some of his colleagues to plot an attack on his beloved pet tarantula.

Mr Watt reported: “The vast bulk of Conservative MPs don’t like [Sir Gavin] – they feel that they have got on the wrong side of him.

“Just to give you an idea, I was talking to somebody who worked in the whip’s office under him and you may remember that Gavin Williamson very proudly has a pet tarantula.

“They said a group of whips so disliked him that they had a discussion about whether they could come in early one morning, release the pet tarantula and stamp it to death.”

Host Victoria Derbyshire gasped: “Oh my word.” She then added: “That’s Parliament for you.”

Under Theresa May’s government, Sir Gavin served as Conservative chief whip between 2016 and 2017.

During this time, he is understood to have kept a pet tarantula, named Cronus, on his desk in the whip’s office.

Mr Watt suggested Sir Gavin’s treatment of colleagues during his time as chief whip had pushed them to consider an attack on the spider as revenge for the Tory MP’s conduct.

It has emerged that a number of Sir Gavin’s former colleagues have accused him of bullying and intimidation during his time in office. 

Read more: Nigel Farage slams ‘careerist’ Tories after Gavin Williamson resigns

Former chief whip Wendy Morton lodged a complaint against Sir Gavin over a string of furious text messages he sent accusing her of favouring certain Conservative MPs.

He accused Ms Morton of “rigging” the ticket allocation to the Queen’s state funeral and warned the then chief whip: “There is a price for everything.”

The Guardian has since reported the account of an unnamed senior civil servant who worked under Sir Gavin in the Ministry of Defence during his stint as Defence Secretary between 2017 and 2019.

The Whitehall aide alleged Sir Gavin told civil servants to “jump out of a window” and, on a second occasion, to “slit your throat” in a series of outbursts.

The senior civil servant said the Tory MP “deliberately demeaned and intimated” staff on a regular basis.

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In addition to the claims of civil servants and Ms Morton, Sir Gavin’s former deputy when he was chief whip has claimed he acted in an “unethical and immoral” manner during his time in the role.

Anne Milton, who was deputy chief whip between 2015 and 2017, told Channel 4 Sir Gavin would use “salacious gossip” as “leverage” against other MPs when he needed to assert his power.

Sir Gavin has admitted to sending the brutal string of messages to Ms Morton and noted in his resignation letter that he had “apologised to the recipient” of the texts.

In regard to the further allegations, the Conservative MP has strongly denied the “characterisation” of his conduct voiced by his former colleagues.

Read next: 
POLL: Should Gavin Williamson be sacked for ‘unacceptable’ texts?
Sunak defends Gavin Williamson over furious texts
Gavin Williamson’s expletive-laden text messages ‘unacceptable’ – PM
Gavin Williamson ‘regrets’ expletive-laden texts sent to Chief Whip
Dowden points to ‘difficult relationship’ MPs have with Morton 

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