'Is Gavin Williamson racist or incompetent?' Nick Ferrari puts a minister on the spot

9 September 2021, 09:08 | Updated: 9 September 2021, 09:12

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This is the moment Nick Ferrari was accused of trying to "trap" a politician over a question about Gavin Williamson.

The Education Secretary said on Wednesday that he made a "genuine mistake" in an interview with the Evening Standard when he said he had met Mr Rashford online, when he meant Mr Itoje.

Both sportsmen are black, prompting accusations of racism, leading Nick Ferrari to grill Care Minister Helen Whately over the case.

Read more: Gavin Williamson admits 'mistake' after confusing Marcus Rashford for black rugby player

"Is he racist or incompetent?"

Stuttering slightly, the minister said she had "seen no more of this than what you have seen."

"What more do you need," Nick shot back. Pointing out Mr Williamson had "mixed up two prominent black English sportsmen."

Repeating his question, Nick again asked: "Is this through incompetence, or racism?"

"I don't know," was the minister's immediate answer.

She told Nick the Education Secretary had given an explanation already.

But, the minister said she "can't believe for a moment" that Mr Williamson is racist, "I think that's highly unlikely."

"So, it's incompetence then?" Nick shot back.

Refusing to answer, the minister said Nick was offering her a "false choice."

"You've given me a false choice, you're trying to put me into a trap to say whether it's one thing or the other."

She added: "I don't accept the choice that you've offered me there; what I'll say is Gavin has said what's happened, there's not a lot more I can say."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Is Boris running a country or a frat house, asks ex-Tory comms chief

'Is Boris running a country or a frat house?': Ex-Tory comms chief slams No10 culture

Steve Barclay tried to explain why Boris Johnson didn’t query how his son’s swing got broken

Partygate: Why didn't the PM ask more questions over his son's broken swing?

Mother of cancer teen 'forced to take GCSEs' in hospital hits out at exam board decision

Mother of cancer teen 'forced to take GCSEs' in hospital hits out at exam board decision

Minister calls for 'restraint' on public sector pay rises as huge train strike looms

Minister calls for 'restraint' on public sector pay rises as crippling train strike looms

'What more do they want?!': Nick Ferrari's fury over rail strikes

'What more do they want?!': Nick Ferrari's fury over rail strikes

'You're at odds with the Home Sec': Nick clashes with police chief over taking the knee

'You're at odds with the Home Sec': Ferrari clashes with top cop over taking the knee

'Dear God!': Nick Ferrari baffled by Platinum Jubilee bunting ban

'Dear God!': Nick Ferrari baffled by Platinum Jubilee bunting ban

'He chooses to serve this country': Minister defends Chancellor after he made Rich List

Rich List Rishi Sunak 'could do anything with his life but he serves his country'

'I don't like Clive!' Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I don't like Clive!': Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts experience with 'micromanaging' boss

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts working with 'micromanaging' boss

Dominic Raab said it would be Sue Gray's "prerogative" to "name and shame" politicians who were issued with fines

'Boris didn't get away with Partygate': Raab says it's up to Sue Gray to name and shame

Kit Malthouse said "we believe the law should be blind"

Minister slaps down police chief who said shoplifters stealing to eat should be spared

Caller hosting Ukrainian refugees admits she regrets it

Caller regrets hosting Ukrainian refugees as it has cost 'hundreds of pounds'

Liz Truss explained plans to alter parts of the Northern Ireland protocol

'We don’t want to scrap NI protocol, just the bits that don’t work': Truss tells LBC

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of senior officials soars by 125%

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of managers soars by 125%

Tony Danker said potentially two million Brits are skipping meals

'Do something to help,' CBI chief tells Sunak as millions of Brits forced to skip meals