Keir Starmer answers question from "Boris in Westminster" over school re-opening

6 July 2020, 09:31 | Updated: 6 July 2020, 09:57

Trade unions not the problem in getting kids back to school

By Adrian Sherling

Sir Keir Starmer insisted the trades unions have not been to blame for the difficulties in getting children back to school as he answered a question from "Boris in Westminster" on Call Keir.

In Prime Minister's Questions, Boris Johnson has regularly turned the questioning back on the Labour leader and asked him whether he thinks it's safe for schools to re-open to children.

Last week when he was live on LBC, the Prime Minister left a question for Call Keir.

Boris in Westminster said: "Keir, Boris Johnson here. Could you possibly say once and for all that schools are safe to go back to - point one.

"And that the teaching unions should drop their opposition and allow every pupil to go back to school that can go back to school now and that every pupil should go back to school in September. No ifs, no buts, just say it."

READ MORE: Watch Call Keir in full

Boris Johnson asked Keir Starmer a question about the re-opening of schools
Boris Johnson asked Keir Starmer a question about the re-opening of schools. Picture: LBC

Mr Starmer responded: "Yes, schools are safe for some children to go back to at the moment. My children are in school. And I want all children back at school in September.

"I don't actually buy his argument that it's the trades unions who have caused the problems.

"What this needed was leadership at the top and a plan. And frankly, every school I'm spoken to has said it comes down to the space they've got. If they've got a lot of space, they can do it, if they haven't, they can't.

"The day the schools were closed, the Prime Minister should have set up a plan to get them back open.

"Do you need pre-fab, do you need more classrooms built? Is there a library or a community centre you can use? These are the practical things we needed."

Hear his full answer at the top of the page.