Gavin Williamson ‘clearly not suited’ to be minister, says Keir Starmer OLD

Gavin Williamson is “clearly unfit” for government and his appointment shows how “weak” Rishi Sunak is, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The Prime Minister is under fire for bringing Mr Williamson back into government after he was warned he was under investigation for allegedly bullying former chief whip Wendy Morton.

The minister has now been hit with fresh complaints – accused of making a tacit threat by raising a sensitive question about the private life of a female Tory MP.

The Labor leader said it was ‘so disappointing that we are once again having a discussion about the Prime Minister’s judgment, this time in relation to Gavin Williamson’.

Sir Keir added: “There are clearly people around the cabinet table who are not fit to be there. It was because he was so weak and wanted to avoid an election within his own party.

Asked if he was calling for Mr Williamson to be fired, the Labor leader said: ‘I think the Prime Minister has people around the cabinet table who are clearly not fit for duty.

He added: “Gavin Williamson has a history of security breaches and leaks etc. the wardrobe.”

Reiterating his call for an early election, Sir Keir added: “I think the only way out of this…I think we should tell the public they should have a choice – do you want to continue with this chaos or do you want to the stability of a Labor government? That’s why I think there’s such a strong case for a general election.

It comes as an unnamed Tory minister allegedly claimed Mr Williamson brought up her private life in 2016 in a bid to silence her when he was chief whip and she was a backbench MP.

The MP – campaigning on an issue causing problems for the government at the time – interpreted the conversation as a tacit threat, according to The temperature.

But Mr Williamson’s allies denied any threats, telling the newspaper he only raised the personal issue in ‘pastoral capacity’ as chief whip at the time.

In scathing criticism, Grant Shapps said angry WhatsApps messages sent by cabinet colleague Mr Williamson to ex-chief whip Wendy Morton over her failure to secure a place at the Queen’s funeral were “completely inappropriate”.

The business secretary told LBC: ‘I think he must have been in a moment of frustration which I’m sure he deeply regrets. It is completely inappropriate to send messages like this under any circumstances, frustration or otherwise. It is absolutely true that it has been examined.

Mr Sunak said the abusive texts sent by Mr Williamson to Ms Morton were ‘not acceptable or fair’. The Prime Minister insisted he had been aware of a ‘disagreement’ – but not of the details of the swap.

The prime minister’s spokesman said Mr Sunak had taken a “zero tolerance” approach to government bullying. But when asked if the Prime Minister had ‘full confidence’ in Sir Gavin, he replied: ‘Yes’.

Meanwhile Sir Keir has insisted his party is ‘united’ amid accusations that the Labor left wing is being ‘purged’. Reports emerged over the weekend accusing the Labor leadership of overseeing a ‘purge’, with some barred from standing in the next general election.

The Labor leader told broadcasters: “We are preparing for the next election, the sooner the better. I am determined to have a team of incoming deputies, who are the team of tomorrow.

“We will have a big challenge and so we are of course making sure that we have the best candidates to present to the public for this general election which we desperately need.

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