Sir Gavin Williamson’s successor today defended his knighthood, saying he “deserves” the honour.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi cited Williamson’s work on skills and new technical qualifications called T-levels when asked about the gong.
Williamson’s knighthood came as a surprise after he was sacked twice as a cabinet minister and oversaw the exams fiasco during the covid-19 pandemic.
Zahawi told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I’m going to tell you something that’s not universally popular, I know, but being in an apartment, and you see this on my lapel here, it’s T-Levels, the White Paper. of Skills and the Skills Bill that is about to receive royal assent was the work of Gavin Williamson.
“When I was in the department with Theresa May, skills were considered the Cinderella part of the department.
“Gavin Williamson’s work on skills, T-Levels, the right to lifelong learning will transform the fortunes of young people in our country who may not want to go to college. For that alone I think he deserves that knighthood.
Zahawi also refused to criticize Sir Gavin for canceling exams during the pandemic, saying he had “very little choice”.
But Zahawi added: “The closure of the schools, when I reflect on that, was a mistake and I am on record saying so, and I will do everything in my power to never close the schools again, and the Prime Minister absolutely agrees. . with me.”
The T-levels aim to train workers in the skills desired by employers and are contained in the Post-16 Education and Skills Bill, which still needs to pass Parliament.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.