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Gavin Williamson and Chris Skidmore make their higher education debuts (sort of) at the Universities UK conference.

You would not have thought the Conservative government was pleading for an election to dig itself out of the parliamentary impasse it has created in Westminster. Gavin Williamson, making his first public speech on universities as education secretary, and Chris Skidmore, the returning science minister, breezed into the Universities UK conference in Birmingham proclaiming unbroken continuity in government policy and making plans for another decade in office.

Williamson opened the conference, while Skidmore added to the fun following an inaugural presidential speech by Julia Buckingham. The evening before, Skidmore had posted a photograph on Twitter of a blank page with the heading ‘UUK annual conference speech’, saying “Who doesn’t love a university essay deadline?

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