Gavin Williamson has resigned as Minister Without Portfolio in the Tory government, saying he did not want to become a distraction from its work.
He also said he wanted to clear his name from the bullying claims that have dogged him for the last few days.
As ITV’s news anchor Tom Bradby said, reporting the resignation, there might still be time for him to appear on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here along with former Conservative colleague Matt Hancock. Indeed, stranger things have happened this autumn.
Williamson’s last Cabinet role ended when he was sacked as Education Secretary in September last year.
At the time, I wrote the following:
England’s education system is (momentarily) stronger with the announcement that Gavin Williamson has been sacked from his post as the minister in charge, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle by Boris Johnson.
His two-year tenure stands as testament to the fact that having no Education Secretary is better than having him in the role.
Incompetent Williamson’s failures are fast becoming the stuff of legend, with the headline disasters well-known to all of us:
In 2020, when A-level students could not take their exams because of Covid-19, he used a algorithm to allocate marks – that was rigged to make it seem that privately-educated pupils were more intelligent than the riff-raff from the state system that he ran.
He later tried to force disadvantaged, black and minority ethnic children in England to take exams when other kids didn’t have to, claiming that they respond better to examination conditions. It seemed clear racism – an attempt to put these children down with duff results.
He made it clear that the government expected all schools to open as normal in January this year – then closed them after just one day because prime minister Boris Johnson ordered a new lockdown and he was unaware of it.
He decided to foist Latin as a subject onto state school pupils, rather than anything useful. At the time I wrote: “Having killed the economy with Brexit and enormous numbers of the population with Covid-19, the Tories now want us all to learn a dead language.”
He scrapped dozens of legal rights for children.
He also wanted a clampdown on indiscipline in schools after the return from Covid-19 lockdown – but provided no evidence whatsoever to support his wild claim that our children had gone feral.
Before Boris Johnson gave him the bullet, it was suggested that Williamson would blame school pupils and parents if Covid-19 infections spike after the start of the school term.
Prior to that, he was Defence Secretary under Theresa May – but was sacked from that job too.
In May 2019, I wrote:
Theresa May has sacked Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary, saying she has “lost confidence in his ability to serve in the role of defence secretary and as a member of her cabinet”.
It appears he is to take responsibility for an embarrassing leak from the National Security Council, stating that Huawei is to take a contract to help provide the UK’s 5G network, despite concerns over spyware funnelling information to the Chinese government.
But was he really to blame?
Mr Williamson himself is on the record as swearing on his children’s life that he had nothing to do with the leak.
But it seems an inquiry run by Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill has found that he was responsible for the leak, which has angered the United States government, which has banned Huawei from government networks and pressurised the UK to do the same.
Alternatively, some have suggested that the US is simply protecting its interests, saying Huawei provides better service than American firms.
According to The Independent, Mr Williamson is said to believe his firing was “politically motivated”.
It has also been alleged that Williamson was knighted on the wishes of Boris Johnson because he knew of connections between Johnson and Russia that the former prime minister wanted to keep quiet.
So there are certainly a lot of claims about Williamson. Did he ever clear up those previous allegations? Not as far as This Writer is aware.
Will he clear his reputation of this new stain on it?
Well, what do you think?
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