education

Michael Gove seems to accept ‘complete dimbo’ accusation from Piers Morgan


The exchange took place on This Morning (Picture: Rex)

Michael Gove appeared to accept an accusation that ‘even a complete dimbo’ would have realised before the start of term that it was a bad idea to open schools.

This Morning presenter Piers Morgan went in heavily on the cabinet minister today, saying it was ‘bleedingly obvious to everybody’ that a third lockdown was coming with pupils told to stay at home.

Mr Morgan said: ‘What is the point of sending everybody out for one day when the numbers building up to that interview with the prime minister were catastrophically bad anyway.

‘Keir Starmer said “it’s obvious we’re going to have to shut the schools”.

‘And yet there’s the prime minister once again giving completely false hope to the people about the fact these schools are completely safe. He said it six times, so everybody goes back in. 

‘Again I just ask, at what point did you not think this was a terrible idea, given the state of the infections particularly in the south at the moment, to send millions of people into classrooms to mingle with each other?

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‘It just seems to me that even to a complete dimbo this is the worst possible thing to be doing.

‘Then it turns out we do it for one day. That is why confidence is so low in your government right now.

Michael Gove responded: ‘Well, I do take your point.’

He continued: ‘The first thing I would say is that in the south and London and Kent and elsewhere, primary schools were closed.

‘The second thing is that primary schools will remain open for children of key workers and children from the most vulnerable circumstances and they will be safe in those schools. The appropriate steps are being taken and have been taken in order that we can provide education for those.’

Before his address to the nation yesterday, the Prime Minister had previously strongly resisted calls to delay the reopening of primary schools in particular following the Christmas break – despite pressure from the teaching unions.

But he changed his mind after the chief medical officers of the four UK nations warned there was a danger the NHS would be overwhelmed by the surge in infections caused by a new, faster spreading variant of Covid-19.

With the Government acknowledging that exams in England will not be able to go ahead as planned in the summer, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will address a recalled House of Commons tomorrow to update MPs on how pupils will be assessed.

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