GAVIN WILLIAMSON SACKED: Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle
Image by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images
Gavin Williamson has been sacked as education secretary after months of calls for his removal, as Boris Johnson carried out a Cabinet reshuffle that also brought about the exit of Robert Buckland as justice secretary.
The Prime Minister was carrying out a long-awaited shake-up of his top team on Wednesday afternoon, with plans to put in place a “strong and united” Cabinet following the turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Williamson was one of the ministers deemed most at risk of being told to return to the backbenches particularly due to his handling of the exams fiasco during the Covid-19 crisis.
First to go, he confirmed his exit by saying “it has been a privilege to serve as education secretary since 2019”, adding that he will continue to support the Prime Minister and the Government.
His message was suggestive that he was not being offered another role as a frontbencher, but there has been no confirmation of whether he would be moved to another role.
Gavin Williamson tweeted: “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 Minster and the government.”
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Boris Johnson “understood the importance of having a diverse Cabinet” but would not guarantee that female representation around the table would be maintained at least at its current level following the reshuffle.
Mr Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings has branded the shake-up the “Carrie reshuffle”, suggesting that Mrs Johnson’s allies would be rewarded.
But asked if the Prime Minister’s wife had been consulted on the reshuffle, the official Downing Street spokesman said: “No.”
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