Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

‘Couldn’t be worse than your predecessor’ Labour MP in brutal put down of Nadhim Zahawi

BBC QT audience member tells Remainer ’Farage WILL be back’

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The Labour MP for Wigan made the comments during Thursday night’s edition of BBC Question Time hosted by Fiona Bruce. Last month, Boris Johnson reshuffled his Cabinet ahead of this month’s Tory Party conference in Manchester. Among those purged was Gavin Williamson, who had served as the Education Secretary from 2019 to 2021.

Mr Williamson presided over last year’s exams fiasco, leading to an embarrassing U-turn by the Government over the awarding of GCSE and A-level grades.

His successor, Nadhim Zahawi, joined Ms Nandy in Aldershot for some lively political debate.

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary was quick to draw blood during a feisty exchange of views.

“I would just say this to Nadhim,” she began.

“You are new into the post as Education Secretary and I was extremely pleased to see you in that job, not least because you could not be worse than your predecessor.”

At which stage, Ms Bruce interjected: “My God – that is damning with faint praise.”

Undeterred, the Labour front bencher continued her attack, saying: “If you want to level up this country, you have to invest in its people.

“When you are spending more on Eat Out to Help Out than you are on helping our children to catch up on their education over the summer holidays after the worst global pandemic in a century you really have to wonder where your priorities are.

“We need to see real action, not just more slogans from this Government.”

Last summer, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, introduced a scheme to encourage people to dine out in pubs, cafes and restaurants.

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The Eat Out to Help Out initiative offered a half-price discount up to a maximum of £10 per head on food and non-alcoholic drinks from Mondays to Wednesdays throughout August 2020.

More than 49,000 businesses made a claim for the Government subsidy by the end of September 2020 at a cost to the Treasury of over £849m.

The Government announced this February that it was allocating £700m to schools to provide catch-up classes for pupils, who missed lessons as a result of the pandemic.

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