Gavin Williamson: Ex-education secretary ‘tipped for knighthood’ following departure from Cabinet

The move is likely to anger schools, parents and unions who called for his resignation.

Zaina Alibhai
Saturday 18 September 2021 11:09
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Former education secretary Gavin Williamson is reportedly being tipped for a knighthood following his departure from the Cabinet.

The MP for South Staffordshire is expected to feature in the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s next honours list, sources told the Telegraph.

Williamson declined to comment when approached by the publication, saying it was “not something I have heard about”.

Despite numerous calls for his resignation, Mr Johnson held onto the frontbencher until his Cabinet reshuffle this week which saw Williamson sacked from the role after two years.

The MP - who has served and also been sacked as defence secretary - said he was proud of the transformational reforms he had brought about as education secretary.

He said: “It has been a privilege to serve as Education Secretary since 2019. Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, I’m particularly proud of the transformational reforms I’ve led in Post 16 education: in further education colleges, our Skills agenda, apprenticeships and more.

"This programme will create better life opportunities for pupils and students for many years to come. I look forward to continuing to support the Prime Minister and the Government."

Mr Williamson is infamous for a number of gaffes outside of his department, most recently garnering criticism after confusing England footballer Marcus Rashford with rugby player Maro Itoje.

Serving as defence secretary at the time of the 2018 Salisbury poisonings, his remarks were widely mocked across the globe.

On being asked how the Kremlin would react to the UK expelling its diplomats, he said Russia should “shut up” and “go away”.

His role in the Ministry of Defence lasted as long as within the Department for Education, having been fired by then-prime minister Theresa May over the leaking of confidential National Security Council information related to Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network.

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