GAVIN Williamson has been sacked as Education Secretary following a long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The 45-year-old had repeatedly come under fire for his handling of education during the pandemic — 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.
Why was Gavin Williamson sacked as Education Secretary?
Williamson was heavily criticised for last year's chaos over the busy exam period during the pandemic, and came under heavy scrutiny over the government's repeated U-turns over their free school meals policy, as well as last-minute school closures and struggles many poorer children faced getting equipment for home learning.
The 45-year-old was said to have made a farewell goodbye speech to other MP's earlier on today.
Williamson later took to twitter and said: "It has been a privilege to serve as education secretary since 2019.
"Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, I'm particularly proud of the transformational reforms I've led in Post 16 education: in further education colleges, our Skills agenda, apprenticeships and more."
More recently, Marcus Rashford mocked Williamson after the politician was accused of confusing the Manchester United striker for England rugby star Maro Itoje.
The former Education Secretary admitted it was a 'genuine mistake' in mixing the pair up – but that was to be the final nail in Williamson's government role.
It remains unclear as to whether Mr Williamson has been offered a different role within the government.
Williamson's career within the Conservative party
Williamson had 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.
Is Gavin Williamson married?
The former Education Secretary is married to former primary school teacher Joanne Elland, who gave birth to their first child in late 2004.
The pair met at sixth form college in in Scarborough, although Williamson admitted to having a fling with a married colleague behind his wife's back.
The 45-year-old claimed 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".
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