'That prat': Labour slams Williamson as Boris sacks him from top team

15 September 2021, 16:15 | Updated: 17 September 2021, 18:02

Angela Rayner has branded Gavin Williamson a 'prat' and said he should have been sacked a year ago
Angela Rayner has branded Gavin Williamson a 'prat' and said he should have been sacked a year ago. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Labour has branded Gavin Williamson a "prat" and "useless" after he was sacked from the Cabinet during a huge reshuffle of Boris Johnson's top team.

Angela Rayner tweeted: "That prat’s absolute idiocy, failures and uselessness have damaged the life chances of our country’s children and this government has failed young people, teachers & education staff.

The Deputy Labour Leader also said Mr Williamson "should have been sacked over a year ago".

Shadow education secretary Kate Green has also hit out at the former education secretary, accusing him of "failing children and young people" and leaving a legacy of exam chaos and abandoned staff.

"Gavin Williamson has failed children and young people, their parents and our hardworking education staff throughout one of the most testing periods in our history," said Ms Green.

"Two years of exams chaos and staff abandoned, unsupported and demoralised.

"That is Gavin Williamson's legacy."

She added: "The Prime Minister has allowed this to happen, keeping a failing Education Secretary in post for months and refusing to fight for children's futures."

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Gavin Williamson was sacked from Boris Johnson's Government at Wednesday's cabinet reshuffle.

In a statement posted to Twitter, he said working the role had been a "privilege" and he was "proud" of what he had achieved.

A No10 spokesperson said Mr Johnson was "grateful" for Mr Williamson's service.

"Gavin Williamson has played a key role in transforming the skills agenda as we create a high wage and high-skilled economy, providing a lifetime skills guarantee for millions across the country," said the spokesperson.

"The Prime Minister is grateful for his loyalty and service."

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Mr Williamson was not the only cabinet minister to be given the sack in Wednesday's dramatic reshuffle.

Robert Jenrick and Robert Buckland were also booted out of the Prime Minister's top team.

Meanwhile, Dominic Raab was demoted from Foreign Secretary to the Justice Department and now takes on the role of the Deputy PM.

Liz Truss moves into the Foreign Office.

A No10 spokesperson said Mr Buckland had made a "huge contribution" as Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, whilst Mr Jenrick "led crucial work" in his role as Housing Secretary.

The spokesperson added that the Prime Minister was "grateful" for both their service.

Labour had much warmer words for Mr Buckland, with shadow justice secretary David Lammy tweeting that he was "always affable" and someone Mr Lammy was "able to work constructively with".

However, he added: "This Government has run the justice system into the ground and onto the brink of collapse.

"The Crown Court backlog has reached a record-high while the number of rape convictions are at a record-low."

He said the new Justice Secretary "must be capable of fixing the courts and victims crisis the Conservative government has created".

Labour's Jess Phillips also praised Mr Buckland, saying he "cared and wanted to see changes that worked" in response to a tweet from Labour MP Harriet Harman thanking the former Justice Secretary for "the important changes you made on domestic violence & sex violence against women".