‘Westminster is not a parish council tea party’: Ex-special adviser to Gavin Williamson jumps to his defence

9 November 2022, 10:41

Ex-special advisor to Gavin Williamson comments on bullying allegations against Sir Williamson.

By Hannah Holland

Gavin Williamson's former special adviser, Angus Walker, told Nick Ferrari that Westminster is a "vicious place" and "people do lose their tempers".

Gavin Williamson has resigned from his Cabinet Minister role following allegations of bullying by fellow MPs and civil servants.

Angus Walker, former special adviser to Gavin Williamson, prefaced his judgement by expressing that “the whole thing is deeply unpleasant”.

Having worked with him for eighteen months, Mr Walker described how the MP was “under immense strain”.

“I saw him bringing people together and actually, an effective operator behind the scenes and that’s perhaps why four Prime Ministers have wanted him by their side”, he speculated.

Continuing, he added: “But all that time, under all that pressure, I saw him as someone who, I have to speak as I find, kind, polite and well-mannered."

Nick interjected, insisting Mr Walker's description “doesn’t sound like the man I’ve been reading of”, before listing details of the allegations against Williamson.

“We’re talking about different men aren’t we, Angus?”

A text message exchange between Williamson and former Chief Whip, Wendy Morton, was released last week in which the Cabinet Minister used expletive-laden language whilst warning Ms Morton “not to push him about”.

The messages triggered a surge of complaints including one from a senior civil servant who alleged that during his time as Defence Secretary, Williamson told them to “slit your throat” and to “jump out of the window”.

READ MORE: Gavin Williamson quits as Cabinet Office minister amid bullying allegations

“You and I both know Nick that Westminster can be a vicious place and funnily enough, MPs are not very nice to each other behind closed doors”, Mr Walker explained.

“Westminster is not a parish council tea party, it’s a pretty feisty place and people do lose their tempers. They do say things that they later regret."

Nick Ferrari: 'These people are mostly utterly ego-centric and obsessed with power.'

Following the interview, Nick weighed in, saying: “Are we really pretending that at senior levels of the government, someone saying to someone else 'Why don’t you jump out of the window?' is a hanging offence? Seriously?”

“...these people are mostly utterly egocentric, obsessed with power and almost ready to trade in their grandmother for a next big job.”

“No it’s not the sort of language you would want to use at home but this isn’t at home, this is at the very heart of government.”

READ MORE: Bullying allegations against Gavin Williamson are 'unwelcome distraction', Education Secretary says

READ MORE: PM still stands by under-fire Gavin Williamson despite claims he told civil servant to 'slit their throat'

James O'Brien serves up an analysis of Sir Gavin Williamson's 'unhinged foul-mouthed ' text messages

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