Gavin Williamson says he was visiting family in Scarborough, refuting claims he took 'seaside holiday during A-Levels fiasco'

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has hit back at claims he was on holiday during the exam crisis this month - saying he was visiting family in Scarborough.

Sunday, 23rd August 2020, 6:11 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd August 2020, 6:46 pm

The MP, who grew up in Scarborough, was accused in articles in Sunday newspapers of going on holiday just days before teenagers received their A-Level results.

The articles also alleged he had cancelled a key meeting to make the trip.

But the 44-year-old said he had cancelled his family holiday to focus on the coronavirus crisis and was in constant communication with the Department for Education during his time in Yorkshire.

Gavin Williamson visits Scarborough Sixth Form College last year
Gavin Williamson visits Scarborough Sixth Form College last year

He posted on Twitter: “I cancelled our family holiday abroad this year to focus on the challenges Covid-19 created for the education sector.

“Over the summer, I went to see family in Scarborough for the first time since lockdown, and while there I was in constant communication with the department.”

Mr Williamson was raised in Scarborough by Labour-supporting parents and has previously told The Scarborough News that many members of his family still live in the area.

His father is reported to have worked at the local council and his mother at a job centre.

He attended East Ayton Primary, Raincliffe School, and Scarborough Sixth Form College before studying social sciences at Bradford University.

He is married to Joanne Eland, a former primary school teacher, whom he met while they were both students at Scarborough Sixth Form College.

Mr Williamson has been facing mounting calls to resign over this year’s A-level results fiasco.

Grades for students had originally been based on an algorithm - seeing thousands of students being marked down or left in limbo over university places - but were then reverted back to using teachers' assessed grades in a Government U-turn.

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