A career politician whose impeachment as education secretary will come as little surprise


Gavin Williamson was the Prime Minister to be removed from his post during Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle after a tumultuous period as Education Secretary.

After supporting Mr Johnson’s leadership campaign and being rewarded with a prominent post, the 45-year-old career politician said it was a “privilege to serve as education secretary since 2019 “.

Mr Williamson was transferred on file after serving as Defense Secretary under Theresa May and Chief Whip before that, after leading his campaign to become Prime Minister.

There were rumors that he could be transferred to the Secretary of Northern Ireland by Mr Johnson, as he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Hugo Swire when he was Secretary of Northern Ireland in 2011 and was a member of the committee Restricted Business from Northern Ireland.

However, the Yorkshireman, who has been an MP for South Staffordshire since 2010, reportedly rejected a decision and is therefore returning to the backseat after four years in the front.

His removal came as no surprise to many after Mr Williamson oversaw the schools fiasco last year in which an algorithm was used to determine A-level and GCSE scores in England as a result. cancellation of exams due to the pandemic.

Mr Williamson turned around and the algorithm was eventually scrapped, but despite calls for his resignation, he remained in his post.

He also hung up this year after the GCSE exams were canceled and Mr Williamson said student behavior worsened during the lockdown, prompting a backlash from parents and teachers.

Labor shadow education secretary Kate Green said the fiasco was “the legacy” of Mr Williamson.

“Gavin Williamson has let down children and youth, their parents and our hard-working educational staff through one of the most trying times in our history,” she said.

“Two years of exam chaos and abandoned, unsupported and demoralized staff. That’s the legacy of Gavin Williamson.

“The Prime Minister allowed this to happen, keeping a failing education secretary in office for months and refusing to fight for the children’s future.”

The National Education Union said it “could not pretend to be sorry” that Mr Williamson left.

“He failed to engage with us on school safety during COVID-19 and presided over cuts in funding to the most disadvantaged schools,” they added.

Geoff Barton, secretary general of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), told the BBC he was “not surprised” by Mr Williamson’s dismissal.

He suggested that Mr Williamson was among those ministers who had been appointed for “various beliefs they had, various tribal loyalties” before being faced with the “extraordinary circumstances” of the COVID crisis.

Jo Grady, secretary general of the University and College Union, said Williamson would be remembered as a “disastrous secretary of state who caused deep and lasting damage”.

“From the mutant algorithm that attempted to wire inequalities in the exam system to its careless mismanagement of the pandemic leading to schools, universities and colleges becoming incubators for Covid, the long list of Williamson’s failures is shocking, ”she added.

Mr Williamson’s most recent blunder occurred just last week after he appeared confuse English footballer Marcus Rashford with English rugby player Maro Itoje, also black.

The MP, whose parents were both Labor voters, had a long relationship with the education sector, becoming National President of the Conservative Students in 1997 and accusing the National Union of Students of acting as a “branch of the Labour Party “.

His wife, with whom he has two children, is also a former teacher and he was a school principal.

The current backbench MP, who served as a county councilor before becoming an MP, also worked as a manager at a fireplace maker, then co-owned a pottery business and worked for a design firm architectural before becoming a Member of Parliament in 2010, after running unsuccessfully in 2005.

He quickly rose through the parliamentary ranks and served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2013.

Shortly after becoming Secretary of Defense in 2017, he was invited to dinner with the wife of a former minister Putin in exchange for a £ 30,000 donation to the Conservative Party.

He then claimed that Jeremy Corbyn met a Czech diplomat, who turned out to be a spy, in the 1980s and that Labor told him to “focus on his job”.

Mr Williamson made headlines again in 2018 after the Salisbury poisonings for saying: ‘Frankly, Russia should go and it should shut up’.

Russia responded by saying that “the talks on the market … reflect its extreme intellectual powerlessness”, but the Ukrainian president backed Williamson.

He was asked to resign his post as Defense Secretary after Theresa May said she had “compelling evidence”. he was not responsible for it.

No stranger to controversy, Williamson admitted to having an affair while working at a chimney company in 2004, calling it a “terrible mistake”.

He also drew the wrath of parliamentary authorities in 2016 for keeping a Mexican red knee tarantula called Cronus in his parliamentary office while he was chief whip.


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