Back to Listings
Gavin Williamson appointed education secretary
OnJul 25, 2019
By Rachel Lawler
Gavin Williamson has been named as the the new education secretary as part of a wider cabinet reshuffle under the new prime minister Boris Johnson.
Williamson previously served as chief whip under Theresa May until November 2017 when he was promoted to role of defence secretary. He was asked to resign from that position in May 2019, amid accusations of confidential information being leaked to the press.
Before entering politics, Williamson worked as managing director at several companies including a fireplace manufacturer and pottery firm. He attended a state comprehensive school and studied social sciences at the University of Bradford.
Writing on Twitter, Williamson said that he was “absolutely honoured to be appointed secretary of state for education by our new prime minister”.
Damian Hinds, the former education secretary, confirmed that he would return to the back benches following the reshuffle. He had served as education secretary since January 2018.
Writing on Twitter, Hinds said: “It has been the greatest privilege to serve as education secretary.[...] thank you to everyone working in education and children’s care, for all you do.”
Anne Milton resigns
Ahead of the reshuffle, Anne Milton resigned from her role as skills and apprenticeships minister. In her resignation letter she said: “This has not been an easy decision to make but I believe strongly that parliament should continue to play a central role in approving a deal and that we must leave the EU in a responsible manner.”
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance commented: "We look forward to working with Gavin Williamson in his new role, and sincerely hope that with his own comprehensive education and background in business, he will recognise the importance of quality, affordable early years education and childcare for social mobility and for helping parents to work.
"Mr Williamson arrives in his post at a time of crisis in early years education. There is a lot of ground to make up for the massive £662 million funding shortfall following years of underfunding of the government's flagship childcare schemes.
“With almost 10,000 childcare providers closing for good between 2016 and 2018 and many more anticipating closure in the next twelve months, proper funding is needed to stop the total disintegration of the sector.
“We hope the new Secretary of State understands the urgency of the situation, and agrees that the sector needs adequate funding now, as well as an annual review of costs if it is to continue to be able to deliver the government's ambitious childcare programmes."