Gavin Williamson 'was more Sunday League than Premier League'

15 September 2021, 17:31 | Updated: 15 September 2021, 20:42

By Seán Hickey

The head of the UK's largest education union says Gavin Williamson used his post to 'climb the greasy pole of politics.'

Former Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was axed from his post today in a rip-roaring Cabinet reshuffle. Eddie Mair spoke to the President of the Association of School and College leaders Richard Sheriff to reflect on the news.

"He’s a very personable very nice chap. I don’t think we should denigrate individuals but in terms of his position in this post, I think he was more Sunday League than Premier League," Mr Sheriff said.

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He told Eddie that "we all would want somebody that’s got a real vision, a passion for education and shares our mission for younger people," but Mr Williamson didn't fit the bill.

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"A lot of us felt that really wasn’t his thing and that perhaps climbing up the greasy pole of politics was more important to him."

"You’re saying that his heart or his ability wasn’t really in it?" Eddie wondered. The ASCL boss confirmed that was the case.

Pushed on who should replace Mr Willamson, Mr Sheriff hoped they are "someone that’s got a real passion for education".

"I don’t think we ever felt that Gavin ever got it and was more interested in what was coming from number 10" Mr Sheriff said.

Asked about Mr Williamson's legacy, Mr Sheriff said "I don’t think that I can say, even though I think that Gavin’s a really nice chap, that he’s done a brilliant job because that just clearly isn’t the case."