Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s former press secretary, opened up on why Gavin Williamson’s recent mistake regarding Marcus Rashford made him being s
Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s former press secretary, opened up on why Gavin Williamson’s recent mistake regarding Marcus Rashford made him being sacked even easier for Johnson. Just a few hours after Gavin Williamson, former Education Secretary was demoted to the Tory backbenchers by Boris Johnson, BBC’s Newsnight dedicated a whole section of the program to what the reshuffle means behind the scenes.
As Emily Maitlis interviewed Craig Oliver, he considered Williamson’s sacking as proof of Boris Johnson’s solidity.
“What it has shown is that Boris Johnson is really confident in his power”, he said.
“The reality is most people thought he would have had to move Gavin Williamson to something because he knows where the bodies are buried and he is gonna start briefing against him if he is on the backbenchers and getting rebellions up and running.”
But according to Mr Oliver, Johnson proves that he is smarter by getting rid of the Education Secretary who has been more popular for u-turns and parents and students’ outrage.
“I think Boris Johnson felt quite confident in saying: ‘Actually, I am going to put you on the backbenchers, and you can do your worst. Because I feel quite strongly that you have not done a good job as education secretary,’” suggests Craig Oliver.
“This situation with Marcus Rashford last week was like the nail in the coffin of him, and I think that probably made him [Boris Johnson] feel even more confident about shoving him [Williamson] among the backbenchers.”
The Richmond MP was relieved from his position after a series of measures that left students and parents infuriated since the start of the pandemic and the exams fiasco of 2020 and the grades inflation of 2021.
Other gaffes involving the former fireplace salesman include him confusing footballer Marcus Rashford with rugby player Maro Itoje.
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Wednesday was not the first time Mr Williamson has been sacked from the Cabinet.
In May 2019 he was sacked as Defence Secretary by Theresa May following an inquiry into a leak from a top-level National Security Council meeting.