PMQs sketch: Rishi Sunak forgot to get details of Gavin Williamson allegations because he was too busy

Rishi Sunak was determined to be Prime Minister for a long time, and that focus meant he missed a few details.

It’s happened to all of us. We’ve got so busy at work, we forgot to take the bins out or pick up milk.

For Mr Sunak, it meant forgetting to disclose his wife’s non-dom status when he was chancellor, or accidentally having a US Green Card despite being in the UK Government.

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He was almost too busy to attend COP because of the cost-of-living crisis, but thankfully found the time to respond to the universal backlash.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak departs 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Now it’s happened again – this time with the appointment of Sir Gavin Williamson to Cabinet despite, you know, his whole career history.

Mr Sunak was in such a rush to be Prime Minister after the surprise resignation of Liz Truss, he did not have time to vet his cabinet.

A simple Google would have revealed Sir Gavin was unpopular because of the exams fiasco, and had previously been sacked for allegedly leaking from the security council.

Mr Sunak knew a complaint had been filed against the former education secretary, but at Prime Minister’s Questions could not explain why he’d appointed him regardless.

Similarly, his spokesman was unable to tell journalists if the Prime Minister knew the details of the bullying.

Mr Sunak told MPs he “obviously regret(s) appointing someone who has had to resign in these circumstances”, despite knowing when he appointed him those circumstances could come out.

He labelled the behaviour “unacceptable” and said his Government would stand by the idea “people in public life should treat others with consideration and respect”.

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For context, Sir Gavin was accused of telling a civil servant to “slit your throat”, and was given the dignity of resigning rather than being sacked.

Mr Sunak’s victory was supposed to be about being a more grown-up Government, with increased accountability and a purge of the scandals of his predecessor.

In appointing Sir Gavin, the Prime Minister created yet another rake to step on, when he could have simply not given a job to a flawed individual.

He told MPs his Government would be “characterised by integrity, professionalism, and accountability”. And to be fair to him, he’s been right, just not in the way he wanted.



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