Minister insists Boris Johnson is being kept ‘aware’ of exams crisis despite continuing holiday

Sky News presenter Niall Paterson and Tory schools minister Nick Gibb; Sky News, Twitter

Sky News presenter Niall Paterson and Tory schools minister Nick Gibb; Sky News, Twitter - Credit: Archant

A Tory minister has insisted Boris Johnson is being kept abreast of the A-Levels fiasco while on holiday despite being told he should be leading the crisis.

Education minister Nick Gibb said he has been in contact with the prime minister twice this week to discuss the ongoing problem of A-Level and GCSE results.

Appearing on Sky News, the minister for schools was confronted by presenter Niall Paterson, who asked 'where on earth' Johnson had been during the crisis.


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'What's been his level of involvement? Look, no one denies he's entitled to a holiday but the country is entitled to a prime minister,' Paterson said.

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Gibb replied: 'The prime minister is kept closely involved with all these issues. I spoke to the prime minister twice this week so he is aware of what is going on.'

The minister said Johnson was also receiving 'daily' updates.

The prime minister was urged to cancel his two-week holiday in Scotland with fiancée Carrie Symonds and newborn baby Wilfred to deal with the escalating crisis.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the prime minister should take 'personal responsibility' for fixing the issue and accused him of being 'invisible' throughout the whole ordeal.

He tweeted: 'Weeks of chaos, confusion and incompetence. We need a return to teacher assessments for A-Level results and urgent action to avoid the same injustice for GCSE students.

'Boris Johnson has been invisible during this crisis. He needs to take personal responsibility, and fix it.'

On Monday, the government announced it was scrapping the use of a computer algorithm to predict sixth formers' grades in favour of teacher assessments after nationwide backlash at the system.

The algorithm is claimed to have benefitted pupils attending independent schools while negatively affecting the marks of those at disadvantaged ones.

Almost 40% of results were downgraded by one or more marks through the government's standardisation process.

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