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

20 August 2020, 11:19

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."

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.

James O'Brien tears apart 'con artist' Tory MP Lee Anderson in scathing attack

James O'Brien tears apart 'con artist' Tory MP Lee Anderson in scathing attack

'What the hell?': James O'Brien skewers Dartford Council leader over food bank photo

'What the hell?': James O'Brien skewers Dartford Council leader over food bank photo

James O'Brien left baffled by photo of Tory council leader cutting ribbon on food bank

James O'Brien left baffled by photo of Tory council leader cutting ribbon on food bank

James O'Brien incredulous as caller says he backed Brexit because 'I don't like the EU anthem'

James O'Brien incredulous as caller says he backed Brexit because 'I don't like the EU anthem'

James O'Brien hits out at right-wing 'client journalists' over Starmer attacks

James O'Brien hits out at right-wing 'client journalists' over Starmer attacks

James O'Brien speaks to tearful widow who can only afford to eat one meal per day

James O'Brien speaks to tearful widow who can only afford to eat one meal per day

James O'Brien reveals all the ways he can see out of post-Brexit NI Protocol deadlock

James O'Brien reveals all the ways he can see out of post-Brexit NI Protocol deadlock

Right-wing conditioning Britons to be 'ashamed of being poor' says James O'Brien

Right-wing conditioning Britons to be 'ashamed of being poor', says James O'Brien

James O'Brien tears into Dominic Raab over Northern Ireland Protocol

James O'Brien tears into Dominic Raab's words on Northern Ireland Protocol

James O'Brien's instant reaction to Local Election results

James O'Brien's instant reaction to Local Election results

Anti-corruption campaigner reacts to EU ban on 'Western enablers' of Vladimir Putin

Anti-corruption campaigner reacts to EU ban on 'Western enablers' of Vladimir Putin

James O'Brien asks whether the 'Homes for Ukraine' refugee scheme was 'designed to fail'

James O'Brien asks whether the 'Homes for Ukraine' refugee scheme was 'designed to fail'

Black caller says it's 'very, very rare' black children get chance to 'just be a child'

Black caller says it's 'very, very rare' black children get chance to 'just be a child'

This former Parliament worker details the frequent sexual harassment she experienced there which has led to her to "discourage any woman from going in there".

'I cried almost everyday': Former Parliament worker details shocking sexual harassment

Caller tells James O'Brien Brexit forced him to leave France

'It's been horrendous': Caller tells James O'Brien Brexit forced him to leave France

James O'Brien claims 'even French fascists' think leaving EU would be 'stupid

James O'Brien says 'even French fascists' think leaving EU is 'stupid' after Brexit