Clive Bull 1am - 4am
Gavin Williamson refuses to say if he's offered to resign over A-levels U-turn
18 August 2020, 08:34 | Updated: 18 August 2020, 09:54
Gavin Williamson refused to tell Nick Ferrari whether he's offered to resign as Education Secretary over the A-levels fiasco.
The Education Secretary insisted he was looking forward when asked if he had considered his position after making a significant change to the way A-level and GCSE grades were awarded.
Mr Williamson appeared to blame Ofqual for the controversial algorithm used to calculate results. Pupils' results can now be based on teachers' predictions instead.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he refused to say whether he has confidence in the exams regulator and apologised for the distress caused to students.
But he was more evasive when asked if he would resign.
Mr Williamson responded: "Nick, my focus is three-fold: One, to make sure students get the grades they deserve, secondly to make sure students are back at school in September as we're going to do. And then thirdly, which is equally an enormous agenda.
"The thing that the Prime Minister wants me to deliver on is to make sure we continue that revolution in education. We've seen over the last 10 years standards in education increase massively. I'm going to be driving that forward over this parliament.
"That's my focus, that's what I'm going to be doing, that's what I'm going to be delivering on."
Mr Williamson admitted his conversation with the Prime Minister over the U-turn was a difficult one to have, but denied Boris Johnson lost his temper.
He added: "It's not a conversation you would ever want to do. It's not a conversation that you ever want to say to the Prime Minister that you want to make these significant changes.
"But my belief is that is something is wrong, if something doesn't work, then you fix it. That's what I did and that's what I would always do."
Nick asked if Mr Johnson lost his temper and the Education Secretary responded: "The Prime Minister is a very even-tempered person and certainly didn't lose his temper with me.
"He realised that this is the right thing to do. He agreed with me that it was the right thing to do and that's why we did it."