Charlie Stayt cuts off Education Minister in school reopening row 'Not hypothetical!'


Charlie Stayt co-hosted alongside Louise Minchin where the pair were joined by a variety of guests throughout the programme. One of which was Education Minister Nick Gibb, who gave some insight on whether schools would continue to reopen in September as planned, despite some new local lockdown restrictions across the country. However, Stayt interrupted the minister after his answers became unclear early on into the BBC Breakfast interview.

As coronavirus lockdown rules have begun to ease over the last couple of months, schools were eager to reopen as soon as possible and get children back in the classrooms. 

However, as some parts of the country have now been plunged into new local lockdowns, the question has arisen again as to whether schools will open in September. 

This morning, Nick Gibb MP was on the breakfast programme to explain in more detail what would be happening with regards to educational institutions in the coming months. 

But when host Stayt quizzed the guest on whether pubs would remain open ahead of schools, the presenter became frustrated with his answering.

READ MORE: Louise Minchin grills Tory MP in heated Test and Trace debate

Stayt asked Gibb: “People would find it odd if a pub was still open and a school was shut… can you be categorical that would not be the case?”

He replied: “Well, you have to look at these things on a local basis, how we’re now tackling virus. 

“We now have much greater granular detail on where we are seeing spikes in the greater infection and then we take action. We are very clear, all children will be going to school in September…”

But Stayt hit back: “I’m still not quite clear…” before calling the idea of pubs being open ahead of schools “inconceivable.”


“Places in Manchester, for example, are subject to specific requirements right now, 

“So were there a school and a pub next door to each other, you won’t differentiate between the two, they’d both be shut… presumably?”

The minister went onto explain how schools would continue to remain open ahead of pubs.

He said: “Schools will be open in September in Manchester, notwithstanding the local lockdown restrictions. 

“We’re moving away from these national decisions about pubs versus schools. What we’re saying is all schools will open in September for all pupils.

“We’re not looking locally… when we impose these new restrictions, they will be locally imposed and they will depend on the local circumstances.”

Gibb clarified again that all schools would open their doors in September in spite of any new restrictions across the country. 

“The Government’s clear policy will be to have all children back in school in September,” he added. 

BBC Breakfast airs daily from 6am on BBC One. 


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