Backlash as Gavin Williamson awarded knighthood

3 March 2022, 18:10

Gavin Williamson has been given a knighthood.
Gavin Williamson has been given a knighthood. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Former education secretary Gavin Williamson has been awarded a knighthood, after being nominated by the Prime Minister.

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Downing Street said on Thursday afternoon that the Queen has conferred the honour on the Tory MP, who has twice been sacked from the Government.

No 10 said: "The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of Knighthood be conferred upon The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP."

The MP for South Staffordshire faced backlash over his handling of GCSE and A-Level grade during the pandemic and was sacked from the cabinet last September.

He is know to have played a key part in the PM's leadership campaign in 2019 and the move suggested that Boris Johnson put forward the nomination in order to keep skeletons in the closet.

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Mr Williamson, who has previously served as Defence Secretary, also came under fire for reportedly holding a lockdown-breaking Christmas party.

The DfE confirmed a social event had happened on December 10 2020, after The Mirror reported Mr Williamson threw a party and delivered a short speech at an event organised at his department's Whitehall headquarters.

A spokesman acknowledged at the time that "it would have been better not to have gathered in this way at that particular time".

It was understood the knighthood was being given to Gavin Williamson on the basis of his political and public service.

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Former Lib Dem education spokesperson Layla Moran questioned why Gavin Williamson had been knighted for doing "an abominable job".

Ms Moran, who is MP for Oxford West and Abingdon and now the Lib Dem spokesperson for foreign affairs and international development, tweeted: "One does have to wonder... does Williamson know where all the (horcruxes) are hidden... I can't think of any other reason why he has been honoured for doing such an abominable job."