Dan Walker grills Gavin Williamson school day extension

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BBC Breakfast anchor Dan Walker has shared his reaction after putting Education Secretary Gavin Williamson under pressure during a heated interview today. However, viewers were left split following the broadcast.

You’ll never win, Dan, sadly

Dan, 44, attempted to find out from Gavin if the government were “trying to do it on the cheap”, amidst the cuts to school budgets.

He later went on to grill the MP, 44, about his views on extending the school day, with the latter claiming there would be “real benefits”.

The interview comes after the Cabinet announced that they would be ploughing an extra £1.4 billion into the education system, to help children catch up with the schooling they have missed throughout the pandemic.

However, Dan was left feeling somewhat annoyed after asking him a “direct question” but failing to get a straight answer.

Crawley-born Dan asked: “Are you pushing for a longer school day?”

Mr Williamson squirmed, responding: “I think there is a real benefit to looking at how we can expand a school day.

“I think it delivers…” before he was interrupted by Dan who added: “I’m really sorry, I’m trying not to interrupt you, but I am trying to ask you a direct question.

“You’re in charge of education and millions of parents will be watching you this morning thinking, ‘What does the Education Secretary think about this?’”

Dan continued: “It’s a huge issue of making the school day longer.

“So, are you as Education Secretary in favour of a longer school day?”

However after Williamson failed to deliver a direct answer, adding that there is a “real case” for extending the regular school day, viewers were left torn down the middle.

While many agreed with Dan’s style of interviewing, others were left feeling that the interview was “terrible”.

Taking to Twitter in view of his 711,500 followers, Walker shared a clip of the interview, writing: “‘Excellent interview’… ‘terrible interview’….’ ‘Too soft’… ‘too hard’… ‘Stop interrupting!’…”

His post continued: “‘Why are you letting him waffle on?’… ‘Tory boy’… ‘Labour spy’… Good morning to all of you #BBCBreakfast.”

The post, which has since generated over 340 likes on the micro-blogging platform, was instantly inundated with support from viewers.

“Dan my honest opinion your a good all-rounder at this TV presenting and interviewing lark, it must be hard when interviewing politicians not to let your personal feelings show, especially when they don’t answer the questions and try and spin their own policies throughout,” said one.

While a second added: “Thank you for being a voice for all education staff, Dan.”

“You’ll never win, Dan. Sadly politicians recite the same lines and don’t answer the question, just talk around it. Hence why confidence is generally so low. Keep up the good work,” fumed a third.

However, one viewer added: “Just watched Dan Walker ‘interviewing’ in the BBC way, the odious Gavin Williamson, letting him waffle endlessly.”

A second penned: “Gavin Williamson Talking to Dan Walker, Is like a pre-programmed robot.”

“Giving Gavin Williamson a roasting and letting him off the hook. That must have been a rollercoaster of an interview,” tweeted a third.

Dan quizzed Mr Williamson as to whether the government are attempting to help schools “on the cheap”, adding that some teachers believe the extra £1.4 million will not go far enough.

Mr Williamson hit back, adding: “We’re certainly not, over the past 12 months, we have seen a commitment to invest £1.7billion extra to help children.”

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.

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