Politics is brutal, says MP axed in shake-up

C120879-1 Bog Rosegreen phot kate''''MP Nick Gibb, right, and Lionel Barmard, deputy leader of West Sussex county council,and responsible for libraries, chatting to pupils at Rose Green Junior school about the summer reading campaign.C120879-1
C120879-1 Bog Rosegreen phot kate''''MP Nick Gibb, right, and Lionel Barmard, deputy leader of West Sussex county council,and responsible for libraries, chatting to pupils at Rose Green Junior school about the summer reading campaign.C120879-1

MP Nick Gibb has spoken of his disappointment at being axed from the government.

Mr Gibb, the MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton since 1997, is back on the backbenches in the Commons.

He is assessing what role to play next in his political career after the end of his 27 months as David Cameron’s schools minister to make way for Lib Dem MP David Laws.

He said: “It’s disappointing to no longer be the school’s minister. But politics is a brutal business.

“The prime minister has to make room for new people coming through.

“I am just going to make sure all the reforms I put in place in schools as schools minister are maintained and fully implemented.

“I shall be pursuing that from the back benches. But I am working out what to do next in terms of my political ambitions.”

Mr Gibb was appointed to the important role of schools minister by David Cameron straight after the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition took power in May 2010.

The role reflected his passion for education. But it was ended by a phone call from Mr Cameron last Tuesday when the PM carried out his first reshuffle of his cabinet and ministers.

“I went to see the prime minister after receiving a phone call,” said Mr Gibb.

“He was very kind about the matter. He thanked me for the good work I had been doing for 
the past two years.

“But he explained he had to make room for new MPs to come in to give them experience.

“I understand the pressure he is under to keep 300 Conservative MPs happy and promote ambitious young people.

“But people come and go in politics all the time. I’m only 52. I’ve got to take things like this on the chin, move on and wait for new opportunities. I would hope to be back in government one day.”

Mr Cameron’s formal letter to Mr Gibb tells of his gratitude for his work as the schools minister.He also mentions the dedication and commitment to improving education which led him to initially appoint Mr Gibb to his shadow education team in 2005.

“Throughout the last seven years, you have been one of the founding architects of our pioneering education reforms,” Mr Cameron said. “You have been relentless in your demand for high standards and strong discipline in the classroom.

“As a minister, you have also led the way in setting a brisk pace for reform, driving through the Education Bill in the first session and setting the tone for future reforms which seek to restore autonomy for, and trust in, teachers.”

Mr Gibb’s formal response to the PM spoke of his pride in putting the reforms, like academies, into action.