New leader must back education says MP - The Evesham Observer

New leader must back education says MP

Evesham Editorial 14th Jun, 2019   0

EVESHAM’S MP Nigel Huddleston has called on the candidates aspiring to become the new party leader and Prime Minister to ensure investment in education was their top priority to boost social mobility.

Speaking as the race to become Prime Minister began with the first round of voting among Conservative MPs yesterday (Thursday), Mr Huddleston signalled his intention to apply pressure to whoever emerged from the process to put education at the top of their to-do list.

Education funding and social mobility across the Vale have been at the centre of debate since a shock report from the Social Mobility Commission placed Wychavon 310th out of 324 local authorities.

The findings, published in the groups State of the Nation report, saw Wychavon fall within the bottom 20 per cent of local authorities in the UK and saw efforts to tackle the problem addressed at a social mobility summit.




During a debate in Parliament sponsored by former Education Secretary, Justine Greening MP, Mr Huddleston said he joined the Conservative Party ‘precisely because we are the party of opportunity and aspiration.’

“We should be putting the pressure on the leadership candidates to make them aware it is a hot topic and we want every single one of them to put it as a top priority should they become leader,” he said.


“I hope the winning candidate ensures under their leadership the Government would invest more in people and their potential.”

In response, Ms Greening argued the Treasury has not equated investment in human capital such as skills and people with investment in physical capital like roads and infrastructure.

During the debate, Mr Huddleston also urged outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May to make a ‘strategic and big move’ on education funding before standing down in order to make sure the future leader of the Conservative Party is obliged to deliver that commitment and increase spending.

Mr Huddleston (pictured) is a vice chair of the Conservative Party which prohibits him from campaigning for or declaring support for a specific candidate.

He is still able to cast a vote, however, and has said this will be based on the credibility of their plan to deliver Brexit, the ambition of their post-Brexit agenda and the views of his constituents.

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