Labour’s shadow education secretary Kate Green has called for Gavin Williamson to resign over the latest free school meals scandal, saying he “plainly isn’t up to the job”.
Green said the public had “run out of patience” with the education secretary.
The opposition politician says she will force a vote in the Commons next week demanding that ministers guarantee that children will receive the full value of free school meals support – including in the school holidays.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Green said: “I think patience has completely run out with Gavin Williamson and I do think it is time for him to go.
“Our children’s future, our children’s education, our children’s well-being, is too important to be left in the hands of someone who plainly isn’t up to the job and I think it’s time for him to go.”
It is the first time Green has called directly for Williamson to quit.
She was heavily critical of his handling of exams over the summer – which saw thousands of students’ exam results downgraded based on predictions by an algorithm – but stopped short of demanding his resignation.
At the time, Green urged him to “take responsibility” for the crisis rather than leave the government.
But she added: “Where the Secretary of State goes, chaos and confusion follows and it’s children, families and education staff across the country who pay the price for his incompetence.”
Labour is also demanding that Williamson set a date by when all pupils will have the laptops and internet access needed to learn remotely.
On the motion tabled by Labour for debate, Green said: “Parents are desperately trying to do their best for their children, stopping them from going hungry and keeping them learning, but 10 months into this pandemic the government has still not provided the support these families need.”