Who is Gavin Williamson? Education Secretary and MP for South Staffordshire
GAVIN Williamson has been the Secretary of State for Education since 2019 and is the MP for South Staffordshire.
The son of Yorkshire Labour voters, he was reinstated by Boris Johnson into the cabinet as Education Secretary on July 24, 2019 — but who is he?
Who is Gavin Williamson?
Gavin Williamson was born in June 1976 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
Coming from a working-class background, he studied politics at A-Level before going on to obtain a BSc in Social Sciences from the University of Bradford.
He is married to former primary school teacher, Joanne, and they have two daughters, Annabel and Grace.
Williamson’s career within the Conservative party
He has been a fervent and active Tory supporter since his teens, holding the chair of Conservative Students.
He became a North Yorkshire councillor at the age of 27.
After standing down in 2005, Mr Williamson moved to Derbyshire to work in the pottery industry and continued his work in local Conservative politics.
He stood unsuccessfully in the 2005 General Election but was elected in 2010 to the South Staffordshire seat.
Mr Williamson served as Parliamentary Private Secretary for two ministers before becoming Prime Minister David Cameron‘s PPS in 2013.
A Remainer, Williamson is a close ally of Theresa May and helped secure her successful leadership bid.
Mrs May rewarded him by handing him the job of Chief Whip in July 2016 — and reports said he would scare wayward MPs into line with his pet tarantula Cronus.
In the 2016 Prime Minister’s Resignation Honours, Mr Williamson was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) “for political and public service”.
He was Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury) from July 14, 2016, to November 2, 2017.
Mr Williamson was then promoted to Secretary of State for Defence from November 2, 2017 to May 1, 2019, when he got sacked for leaking documents from a spies’ summit.
The Cabinet minister was confronted by Theresa May and accused of breaking his vow to keep government secrets.
He allegedly told journalists that Theresa May was planning to allow Chinese state-linked firm Huawei to build Britain’s mobile network despite spooks’ fears the company is a massive security risk.
He has vehemently defended his innocence since, telling The Sun: “I did not leak this, and to my dying day I will keep on insisting that.”
However, in spite of calls for prosecution, Williamson was appointed Secretary of State for Education on July 24, 2019.
MORE ON GAVIN
Who is his wife and what’s he said about his past fling?
The rising Tory star is married to Joanne, a former primary school teacher. She gave birth to their first child in late 2004.
He has admitted to having a fling with a married colleague behind his wife’s back.
Mr Williamson claims his office romance took place before he entered the world of politics and describes it as “a dreadful mistake”.
He said having to explain to wife Joanne about his fling was one of the most “difficult conversations” of his life, and told how his family “means everything to me” and he “almost threw it away”.