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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Boris Johnson gets rid of Gavin Williamson as education secretary


Gavin Williamson is out as education secretary as the prime minister begins a reshuffle of his top team.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has also been fired, he confirmed on Twitter.

Boris Johnson is dismissing ministers in his House of Commons office and will begin appointing replacements soon.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is rumoured to be on the move or sacked.

Mr Williamson was heavily chastised for his handling of school and exam disruption during the pandemic.

In a tweet, Mr Williamson confirmed his departure, saying, “It has been a privilege to serve as education secretary since 2019.” Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, I’m especially proud of the transformational reforms I’ve led in Post-16 education, such as further education colleges, our Skills agenda, apprenticeships, and more.”

Mr Buckland, the UK’s top law officer, also confirmed his departure via Twitter.

He stated: “It has been a privilege to serve in government for the past seven years, and as Lord Chancellor for the last two.

“I am extremely proud of everything I have accomplished. Then it’s on to the next adventure.”

Downing Street previously confirmed the reshuffle was underway, stating that the PM wanted to “put in place a strong and united team to rebuild better from the pandemic.”

“The government must also redouble our efforts to deliver on the priorities of the people,” No. 10 added.

“The PM will be appointing ministers this afternoon with a focus on uniting and levelling up the whole country.”


Widespread rejig?

The reshuffle was confirmed while Mr Johnson was taking Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons.

The government front bench could look different by the end of Wednesday

He stayed in the Commons after PMQs, where he can fire ministers in private, away from the cameras in Downing Street.

Mr Johnson has largely stuck with the cabinet team he appointed after winning the general election in December 2019.

The one major change came in February 2020, when Rishi Sunak became chancellor following the resignation of Sajid Javid.

Mr Javid returned to government in July this year as health secretary, following the resignation of Matt Hancock.

For weeks, there has been speculation that the Prime Minister is planning a larger reshuffle of his ministerial team.

Dominic Raab, who came under fire for his handling of the aftermath of Afghanistan’s fall, has also been the subject of speculation about his future.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has also faced negative headlines over allegedly breaking ministerial rules, a police pay freeze and bullying allegations.

But Ms Patel was in a prominent position on the government frontbench at Prime Minister’s Questions, sat next to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, with Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to the right of the PM.

Other key Cabinet figures were absent from the chamber, including Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, who is expected to be promoted to a more senior position.

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