Gavin Williamson roundly mocked following comment about UK being 'much better country' than others

Education secretary Gavin Williamson on LBC radio

Education secretary Gavin Williamson on LBC radio - Credit: Twitter

Gavin Williamson has become the centre of an ongoing joke after he claimed Britain swiftly approved a Covid-19 vaccine because it was a "much better country" than others.

The education secretary told LBC radio that Britain had "much better" medical regulators than France, Belgium, and the US, who helped rapidly approve a coronavirus vaccine.

Commenting UK regulators approving the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, Williamson said: "I just think we have the very best people in this country and we've got the best medical regulators. Much better than the French have, much better than the Belgians have, much better than the Americans have.

"That doesn't surprise me at all as we're a much better country than every single one of them, aren't we?"

Deflecting claims Brexit had made a positive impact on the process, he responded: "Just being able to get on with things, deliver it and with brilliant people in our medical regulator making it happen means that people in this country are going to be the first ones in world to get that Pfizer vaccine." 

He then praised the "brilliant clinicians" in the regulator that "made it happen".

This prompted a swift backlash online.

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The Green's Caroline Lucas tweeted: "This from a government minister - it’s pathetic. The kind of thing you’d hear in the playground. Maybe that’s why he’s education secretary."

Fellow LBC presenter James O'Brien posted: "The vaccine is being produced in Belgium having been developed in Germany by the children of Turkish immigrants under the auspices an American company."

Dmitry Grozoubinski added: "Did he follow up by warning the French, Belgians, and Americans that Britain's dad could beat up their dad?"

FT columnist said: "Proof that, however much A-level standards are lowered, Gavin Williamson still wouldn’t pass."

Liverpool Echo's Liam Thorp shared: "If we were a much better country I’m not sure we would have Gavin Williamson at the cabinet level of government."

@RemainingKind wrote: "Hello Europe, hello world, I’d just like to apologise for our politicians. Today, it’s Gavin Williamson. I am sure more will follow."

Best for Britain, a group campaigning for a Brexit deal, tweeted: "Gavin Williamson flying in the face of the Conservatives' Global Britain project & demonstrating a strange Trumpian arrogance about Britain's place on the world stage."

This comes after EU officials dismissed claims Brexit had helped Britain force through a Covid vaccine for approval.

Germany's health minister Jens Spahn reminded Downing Street that the vaccine had in fact been an "EU product".

"The fact that this EU product is so good that Britain approved it so quickly shows that in this crisis European and international cooperation are best," he said.

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