Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer criticises government for lack of planning over school reopenings

Sir Keir Starmer has criticised the Government's lack of planning.
Sir Keir Starmer says the Government should have started planning from the start. Credit: PA

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has criticised the government’s “total lack of planning” for getting children back to school.

The government is yet to announce concrete plans of how they will fully reopen schools in England in September for the next academic year.

“It’s a total lack of planning by the government," Sir Keir told Good Morning Britain.

“From the day the schools shut, it was obvious that work needed to start on getting them back open again. 

"Most of the problems with schools are practical problems, if you have a big space you can probably do it with bubbles. 

“If you have a small school without the space, it’s much more difficult.”

Many schools do not have capacity to operate with social distancing protocols implemented.

The government have been unable to offer solutions, which would allow all pupils to attend a full academic programme. 

“If two or three months ago, the government had put a task force together, risk assess every school, build where necessary, put up prefab classrooms. 

“There’s libraries and community centres that aren’t been used during the pandemic. 

“If there had been a plan, that had started two or three months ago, we would probably have most children back in school now.”

Sir Keir was also asked about his former shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey who he sacked for sharing an article allegedly containing anti-Semitic rhetoric

Sir Keir has reiterated that he was correct to remove Ms Long-Bailey from her position.

Rebecca Long-Bailey was sacked for failing to delete and apologise for her tweet. Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

Under Jeremy Corbyn Labour was criticised for its lack of action over allegations of anti-Semitism within the party.

The ultimate end for Mr Corbyn’s leadership was last year’s disastrous general election result, with Sir Keir stating he is “sweating blood” to rebuild Labour’s reputation and regain the trust of voters.

 “Let’s keep my feet very, very firmly on the ground. 

“We lost that election in November really badly. 

“I don’t want anyone in the Labour party or Labour movement ever to forget that. 

“I don’t want to go a night like that ever again. 

“I have a mountain to climb, between now and the next election in 2024. 

“The hard yards are winning back the trust of the British people and I am doing that day in and day out.

'I am determined to do it and I’m going to sweat blood to do it.”

Sir Keir says the nation has lost faith in Boris Johnson over his response to the pandemic.

“The reason I don’t laugh is because I think of the 65,000 people who have died because of coronavirus and their families.

"Pride is not something you would Never associate with what’s happened over the last three months.

"I think the prime minister has been asleep at the wheel.

"He has been slow with the comms, communications has been terrible.

"It began to break down frankly when Dominic Cummings put forward a ridiculous defence of what he was up to in the north east.”