What does Gavin Williamson actually do all day, asks James O'Brien

20 August 2020, 11:19

What does Gavin Williamson actually do, asks James O'Brien

By Adrian Sherling

Gavin Williamson received a letter six weeks ago from a former chief at the Dept of Education warning the A-level algorithm is not fit for purpose. So if he didn't make amends in those six weeks, what on earth does he do all day, asks James O'Brien.

Sir Jon Coles, a former director-general at the Department for Education, insisted that the algorithm would lead to hundreds of thousands of students receiving the wrong grades.

That letter was sent at the beginning of July, despite Mr Williamson's claim that the issues with the algorithm only became apparent last weekend.

And James O'Brien asked that if he didn't use those six weeks to fine-tune and fix the algorithm, then what exactly does he do?

Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "What does he actually do all day? If you're the Secretary of State for Education and you get a letter from a former director-general of the Department for Education warning you that the algorithm used to assess A-level results is not fit for purpose - and you have six weeks in which to make amends, to make improvements, to change your mind, what do you actually do all day?

James O'Brien asked why Gavin Williamson didn't act over the A-level algorithm
James O'Brien asked why Gavin Williamson didn't act over the A-level algorithm. Picture: LBC / PA

"What does he do, apart from sitting there arranging whips on his desk and staring moodily into camera lenses while taking a manly swig of coffee?

"It seems to be inconceivable that considering and reflecting upon the contents of a letter from the former director-general of the Department for Education warning you that the algorithm used to assess A-level results is a mess, that you can go all the way to results day without having even looked at it.

"Then on Thursday, you come out and defend the fact that you haven't taken any notice of the warnings and swearing blind that under no circumstances whatsoever will you be doing what they have already done in Scotland by returning to the centre-assessed grades.

"Fast forward five days and they do precisely what they swore blind they wouldn't do.

"And still he sits in the Department for Education."

'Have you offered to quit?': Nick Ferrari lays into schools minister

James had just as much scorn for Schools Minister Nick Gibb and his claims that he considered resigning, but decided it was not the right thing to do, likening that to students choosing their own grades.

Watch the monologue at the top of the page.

More James O'Brien

See more More James O'Brien

Londoners to question the Mayor at annual State of London Debate with LBC

Londoners to question the Mayor at annual State of London Debate with LBC

Sacked borders watchdog David Neal said the Home Office is 'dysfunctional' and needs reform.

'It goes to the very top': Sacked border watchdog slams Home Office and calls for reform after Cleverly row

Exclusive
Shahd Waleed is trying to leave Rafah with her parents and enter Egypt

'They want us to experience pain': Young woman trapped in Rafah with her parents tells of terror as Israel invasion looms

Sir Keir Starmer has defended comments he made about Margaret Thatcher earlier this month.

Starmer defends Thatcher comments as he says he ‘completely disagrees’ with former prime minister’s politics

A caller to James O’Brien’s programme has shared footage of the extraordinary destruction done to his newly purchased property just outside of Durham.

Property investor's shock at 'unexplainable level of damage' he discovered after buying new home

Exclusive
James Cleverly replaced Suella Braverman as home secretary on Monday

'I've spent more time with James Cleverly this week than with Suella Braverman in the last year', Sadiq Khan tells LBC

James O'Brien discusses Suella Braverman's 'destructionist' leadership style with a caller

'She's a destructionist': James O'Brien caller claims Suella Braverman governs like 'a five-year-old'

James O'Brien

'She definitely has something on him': Caller and James O'Brien debate why the PM hasn't sacked Suella Braverman yet

'A complete reset of the top' is needed says caller.

'We're being let down': There is a 'complete disconnection' between parliamentary and local Conservatives says caller

James O'Brien

'It's essential that people are able to protest peacefully against war', says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak 'almost physically moves away' from Suella Braverman in House of Commons debate, says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

'Suella Braverman succeeded - she's caused hate', claims caller after Home Secretary criticises pro-Palestine marches

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

James O'Brien on Dagestan

'It's a hatred as old as religion itself': James O'Brien analyses escalating anti-Semitism after Muslim crowd storms Dagestan airport

Carol Vorderman shocked about UK Poverty

'One million children are living in destitution': Carol Vorderman struggles to comprehend stark wealth inequality in the UK

Wes Streeting on dentistry

Wes Streeting invites the government to steal Labour's policy to solve 'dickensian' NHS dentist crisis

James O'Brien

'I think they're the loneliest voters in Britain', James O'Brien claims after Tories' double by-election defeat

JOB and caller Andy

Biden's visit to Israel is to show that the US stands 'unequivocally' with Israel says James O'Brien caller

JOB and Usman

Israel's current response will only 'strengthen' Hamas by rearing Gazans who seek revenge warns this James O'Brien caller

JOB on deaths in conflict

James O'Brien unpacks the 'controversial' feeling of being 'equally devastated' by Palestinian and Israeli deaths

JOB on starmer speech

Keir Starmer is using 'working class as the opposite of having a sense of entitlement', notes James O'Brien

JOB on HS2 promises

James O'Brien criticises Rishi Sunak's watering down of 'illustrative' Network North projects funded by HS2 cut

Sadiq Khan and James O'Brien

Sadiq Khan declares there is 'no place for anti-Semitism' in London as kosher restaurant in Golders Green attacked

James O'Brien on the challenge HS2 scrappage poses to Labour.

‘How much can Rishi Sunak knock down before Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister?, asks James O’Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak is like an 'incontinent cat': James O'Brien slams Tories ahead of PM's Party Conference speech

JoB and Jeremy Hunt

Navy veteran deeply hurt by Jeremy Hunt's plans to clamp down on benefit claimants

James O'Brien on Tory tactics in the upcoming election.

Tories desperately seeking wedge issues is the 'only way' they will retain power in 2024, says James O'Brien

James and caller Mervin on knife crime

'I'd prefer you to go to jail than die': James O'Brien is left aghast by this caller's father's stance on knife possession

James O'Brien

James O'Brien ridicules those prioritising Labour's private school VAT plans over the cost of living crisis

James O'Brien

'I mean this is a novel': James O'Brien hears why this caller blames Labour for HS2 problems

James O'Brien

James O'Brien takes aim at uninformed 'idiots' criticising Keir Starmer for not wanting to diverge from EU rules