Win achieved despite Labour leadership’s ‘supportive’ approach to re-opening of schools
Boris Johnson has caved in to public and union resistance to his mad plan to force English children back to school even though his scientific advisers know – and studies in France and Germany show – that returning to school while the coronavirus is still prevalent in the population would fuel a new wave of the pandemic.
The victory for common sense and the safety of the nation’s children has been won by the joint efforts of unions, parents and grassroots Labour activists and in spite of the Labour leadership’s decision to take a ‘supportive’ approach to the school return.
While union figures such as the National Education Union’s Mary Boustead and Kevin Courtney and Unite’s Howard Beckett took a strong line against Johnson’s recklessness and Labour mayors stated that the safety of their local children came first, Keir Starmer was publicly calling for children to go back to the classroom at the earliest opportunity:
Even after the scale of resistance became clear and Starmer was asked whether he would back unions looking to protect people against the dangers of returning, Starmer would only say that he would ‘have to look at it’:
Angry Tory MP Robert Halfon appeared on BBC News this morning to rant about Johnson’s decision – and when asked why Boris Johnson had u-turned on what Halfon considers ‘the science’, he blamed only unions and local authorities:
The win shows what ordinary people can achieve when they work together – an important reminder in the current vacuum of political leadership as the nation faces a historic challenge.
Now it’s time for Johnson to do the right thing and pull England’s early-years kids back out of school. If it’s not safe for other years to be back, it’s not safe for them either.
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