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Former education secretary Gavin Williamson given knighthood

Former education secretary Gavin Williamson has been given a knighthood, Downing Street said.

Mr Williamson was widely criticised for the handling of his departmental responsibilities during the coronavirus pandemic, including online GCSE and A-level examinations chaos.

Downing Street said on Thursday afternoon that the Queen has conferred the honour on the Tory MP, who has twice been sacked from the Government.

The Prime Minister sacked Mr Williamson from his role as education secretary in September and he was previously dumped as defence secretary following an inquiry into a leak from the National Security Council.

No 10, asked why the knighthood was being announced now and not part of an honours list, said it was a political appointment by the Conservative Party.

A statement said: “The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of Knighthood be conferred upon The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP.”

The move will likely anger parents, teachers and unions as there were numerous calls for his resignation throughout the pandemic.