Coronavirus: What time is Gavin Williamson's House of Commons university update?

29 September 2020, 08:33 | Updated: 29 September 2020, 09:39

Gavin Williamson will speak in the Commons later today
Gavin Williamson will speak in the Commons later today. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is to speak in the House of Commons later today to give an update to thousands of students in Covid-19 lockdowns in university halls.

What time is he due to speak?

Mr Williamson will deliver an update to the House of Commons at 1230pm today.

What is the background?

Thousands of students have been locked in university halls due to covid-19 outbreaks. There is a groundswell of anger over poor conditions, students being made to pay thousands of pounds to be locked inside and lectures being cancelled and moved online with mixed success - among other issues.

There are questions over the legality of the lockdowns with one expert telling LBC they are "legally dicey."

Mr Williamson is due to make a statement in the Commons on Tuesday after thousands of students were forced to self-isolate following a surge in cases at universities including Glasgow, Manchester Metropolitan and Edinburgh Napier.

According to university statements and local reports this month, at least 25 institutions have seen confirmed cases.

Despite the unfolding debacle, Labour said its research showed Mr Williamson has not made any public appearances in recent days and has not tweeted since September 10 - more than two weeks ago.

On Monday, the South Staffordshire MP took to Instagram to post about a litter pick in his constituency that he had taken part in, rather than the situation at the UK's universities.

Watch Gavin Williamson's statement LIVE here from 1230pm today

What is he expected to say?

The details are unclear at present but Labour has called on Mr Williamson to "come to the House of Commons... to tell us exactly what he's doing to help universities and to help students through this."

It is hoped he will proved firm answers on getting students home for Christmas, and the ongoing situation with regard to students' fees, testing, and the state of university lockdowns in general.

The Department for Education has clashed with universities over who should be responsible for refunding students who have been paying full fees for online-only tuition.