The former Defence Secretary, 42, has hinted at defamation proceedings against the Prime Minister following claims he leaked top secret Government information o a reporter in an 11-minute phone call. Mr Williamson denies the claim. ITV political editor Robert Peston put it to Mr Williamson that he has a case for legal proceedings.
Mr Williamson said: “You are trying to tempt me.”
Mr Peston tweeted about his conversation with Mr Williamson in the aftermath of his dismissal.
He said: “Last night I put to @GavinWilliamson he may have a strong case to start defamation proceedings against the PM, given that her published letter sacking him shredded his reputation.
“He replied ‘you are trying to tempt me!’”
Referring to media reports there was little evidence linking the MP to the scandal, Mr Person continued: “If accurate, would suggest she would struggle to substantiate her statement that there is ‘compelling evidence suggesting your responsibility for the unauthorised disclosure’ and to justify her denigration of his conduct during the investigation.
“I don’t think there is precedent for a sacked minister suing a serving PM, but these are strange times.”
This afternoon, Mrs May broke her silence over the incident.
When asked if she regretted her choice to sack Mr Williamson, she said: “I did take a difficult decision. This was not about what was leaked it was about where it was leaked from. It was the importance of the question of trust around that National Security Council table.”
Mr Williamson last night insisted he would be “massively comfortable” with a police investigation into allegations that he was responsible for a Whitehall security leak.
Mr Williamson was dismissed from his Cabinet job following a Civil Service inquiry into the disclosure of details of a gathering of security chiefs and ministers last week that discussed the involvement of Chinese tech giant Huawei in the UK’s telecommunications network.
On Wednesday he was replaced by Penny Mordaunt, who moved from being International Development Secretary.
Downing Street officials yesterday ruled out a police investigation into the episode, indicating that the information leaked was not sensitive enough to warrant criminal charges. But Mr Williamson insisted the police should be called in to establish the facts.