Nick Gibb out as schools minister in government reshuffle

Nick Gibb is out of schools minister after more than six years following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government reshuffle.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 10:33 am
Nick Gibb speaking to pupils

The MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton had served in the post under three PMs, David Cameron, Theresa May and now Mr Johnson.

He had previously held the same role in the coalition from government from 2010-2012 and was briefly minister for school reform from 2014-15.

Mr Gibb was also Mr Cameron’s shadow minister for schools before the 2010 general election.

Taking to Twitter yesterday, he wrote: “Congratulations to Nadhim Zahawi who will do a superb job in building on the reforms of the last ten years. I am sad not to be continuing as schools minister. It has been a privilege to play a part in helping improve the life chances of the next generation.”

Mr Zahawi, previously tasked with overseeing the Covid vaccine rollout, succeeds Gavin Williamson as Education Secretary.

Yesterday’s other big moves saw Liz Truss become Foreign Secretary with Dominic Raab shunted to Justice and Michael Gove replacing Robert Jenrick as Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

While not the biggest departure, the end of Mr Gibb’s tenure as schools minister will be a surprise to many as he was often dubbed the ‘great survivor’ of British politics.

Nick Timothy, a former political advisor to Mrs May, said: “Nick Gibb leaves a legacy greater than any minister of state I can recall, greater even than most cabinet ministers. Thanks to him, millions of children have better literacy skills than they would otherwise have had. Not many can say they have touched so many lives.”

Meanwhile Michael Tidd, headteacher at East Preston Junior School, wrote on Twitter: “Nick Gibb is my MP, and we have met and debated matters in the past. On some matters I think time has proven him right; on others (like long division!), I still disagree. But whatever else you might think, this was a man who knew his brief and was passionate about it in a way that few politicians are.

“He has a genuine desire for excellence across state education and was, in the main, supportive of those trying to deliver it. While some might disagree with some of his views, I think he’ll be a significant loss from the department.”