Leaked WhatsApp messages reveal Gavin Williamson’s appalling views on teachers

Williamson accused teachers of looking for an “excuse” not to work during the pandemic.

Gavin Williamson

Leaked WhatsApp messages have revealed exactly what former Education Secretary Gavin Williamson thought of teachers during the pandemic.

Williamson’s appalling views were revealed after thousands of Whatsapp messages were given to the Telegraph by the journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who helped Matt Hancock write his “Pandemic Diaries” book and who was given the messages.

The messages reveal that Williamson accused teachers of looking for an “excuse” not to work during the pandemic.

Hancock messaged the then education secretary on 1 October, 2020 to congratulate him on his decision to delay A-level exams for a few weeks.

He wrote: “Cracking announcement today. What a bunch of absolute arses the teaching unions are.”

Williamson responded: “I know they really really do just hate work.”

On another date, talking about schools buying PPE, Williamson texted: “Some will just want to say they can’t so they have an excuse to avoid having to teach, what joys!!!”

Following the revelations, Williamson has been criticised by teaching unions.

The National Education Union’s joint general secretary, Dr Mary Bousted, tweeted: “Why am I utterly unsurprised to now have it absolutely confirmed that Gavin Williamson was unfit to be secretary of state for education.”

“It’s terrible, cheap, tribal stereotyping,” Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School & College Leaders (ASCL), told LBC.

Meanwhile, following the leak of the messages Hancock has said that he is a victim of “massive betrayal and breach of trust”. The former Health Secretary says he gave the messages to journalist Isabel Oakeshott as they collaborated on his memoirs, but she subsequently handed them to the Daily Telegraph.

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