Nick Gibb

Member of Parliament for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton



Nick Gibb is the long-serving minister of state for school standards. Attending schools in Wakefield and Leeds, Gibb heralded his grammar school experience as “rigorous” in contrast to the “terrible” experience of a comprehensive. Gibb’s brother, Robbie, is a former BBC editor, longstanding Brexiter and was head of communications at Downing Street under Theresa May. Before entering politics, Gibb worked as a chartered accountant at KPMG, specialising in corporate taxation – he is now a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Accountants. He became chairman of the Bethnal Green and Stepney Conservative Association. He stood for parliament in two different constituencies in 1992 and 1994 unsuccessfully, before his eventual election in Bognor Regis. Gibb subsequently joined the Social Security Committee and became shadow treasury spokesperson before moving to shadow trade and industry spokesperson. Following the 2010 general election, Gibb became schools minister. He left government in 2012, but returned to the post in 2014. Gibb supported the Remain campaign and backed his old boss Michael Gove in both the 2016 and 2019 leadership contests. He married his long-time partner Michael Simmonds, chief executive of Populus, in 2015. Gibb’s role as schools minister was amended under Theresa May to become minister for school standards. He is an advocate of synthetic phonics for teaching children to read. In 2020, his department was criticised for elitism after the fiasco and eventual U-turn in the wake of an algorithmic determination of A Level and GCSE results, in a year where no exams took place. In 2020, Gibb claimed that just 0.2 per cent of children were off school when the real figure was 17 per cent. Gibb has openly criticised the current education system, targeting weak teachers and the “joyless” curriculum. Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, has said: “He is wrong about teaching and he is wrong about learning in schools”.

Financial Interests

Official parliamentary photograph taken by Chris McAndrew, 2017, licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0