Gavin Williamson sacked in Boris Johnson's cabinet reshuffle

Gavin Williamson has been sacked as education secretary in Boris Johnson's Cabinet reshuffle.

He is set to be one of a number of high-profile departures as the prime minister shakes up his senior ministers.

Williamson has been one of the most controversial members of Johnson's cabinet, and was widely criticised for his strategy for A-Level and GCSE results during the pandemic which caused immense disruption for hundreds of thousands of students.

The MP for South Staffordshire was appointed to the role in 2019, after serving as secretary of state for defence in former prime minister Theresa May's Cabinet from 2017-2019.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson meeting children from Barrow Island primary school making chairs, during a visit to BAE Systems Submarines, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, to make an announcement regarding the Dreadnought programme.
Williamson has been fiercely criticised for his management of examination results during the pandemic (PA Images)

He was sacked from the Cabinet by May following a leak from a top-level National Security Council meeting over Huawei's access to the UK's 5G network.

Williamson took to Twitter to announce his departure.

"It has been a privilege to serve as Education Secretary since 2019," he wrote.

"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 sacking comes after days of speculation that a reshuffle was on the cards following a tough few weeks for the government in the polls.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, London, ahead of a COVID-19 media briefing in the Downing Street Briefing Room. Picture date: Tuesday September 14, 2021.
Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street yesterday.

For the first time since the 2019 election, some opinion polls have begun to place Labour ahead of the Conservatives as the party wrestles with the fallout from tax hikes to national insurance and cuts to Universal Credit.