Nick Ferrari Leaves Schools Minister Squirming Over Gavin Williamson WhatsApps

"Why should teachers have any respect for your government?"
Nick Ferrari grilled Nick Gibb on his LBC show
Nick Ferrari grilled Nick Gibb on his LBC show

A government was left squirming as he was grilled by Nick Ferrari over leaked WhatsApp messages revealing Gavin Williamson’s thoughts about teachers.

The former education secretary accused teachers of looking for an “excuse” not to work during the pandemic, according to leaked WhatsApp messages.

Williamson also told then health secretary Matt Hancock that the teaching unions “really really do just hate work”.

On his LBC show this morning, Ferrari read out the offending messages to schools minister Nick Gibb.

He said: “Why should your government expect any respect from teachers?

“We have a former education secretary - this is Gavin Williamson - saying ’some teachers will want to say they can’t open so they have an excuse to avood having to teach, what joys’.

“And pardon my robust language, a former health secretary saying ‘what a bunch or absolute arses the teaching unions are’.

″Why should teachers have any respect for your government?”

Gibb said “people say things in the heat of the moment on WhatsApp that they don’t really believe”.

Asked if he believed teaching unions were “arses”, the minister replied: “No I certainly don’t. I think they work hard for their members. I wish they were with us now negotiating pay and all the other issues that we want to talk about with the teaching unions so we wouldn’t be having the strike that’s happening in London and the south east today.”

The row broke following the leak of thousands of WhatsApp messages to the Daily Telegraph.

They were given to the paper by the journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who helped Hancock write his “Pandemic Diaries” book.

The WhatsApps also suggest Hancock rejected advice to give coronavirus tests to all residents going into English care homes, not just those moving from hospitals.

But a spokesperson for the MP - who lost the Tory whip after agreeing to appear on I’m A Celebrity - strenuously denied the claim.

He said: “These stolen messages have been doctored to create a false story that Matt rejected clinical advice on care home testing. This is flat wrong.”

The messages also reveal how a Covid test was couriered to the home of Jacob Rees-Mogg during a nationwide backlog at the height of the pandemic, leaked WhatsApp messages suggest.

Hancock this morning said he was “sorry for the impact on the very many people – political colleagues, civil servants and friends - who worked hard with me to get through the pandemic and save lives”.

He also condemned “the massive betrayal and breach of trust” by Oakeshott and denied her claims he sent her a “threatening” message when the story broke.


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