Yesterday saw an opportunity for MPs to do the right thing. Somewhat predictably, both of our Conservative MPs, David Simmonds and Steve Tuckwell, voted against the opposition day “Safety of School Buildings” bill, along with most of the rest of the Conservative MPs in Parliament. This was a sad day for Hillingdon, with both of our Conservative MPs nailing their colours to the mast for all to see, showing that both of them care far more about party politics than actually looking after our children.
What Was This?
This motion, one of the few that can be brought by the opposition parties, was a response to the recent news that many of our schools are dangerously delapitated. This was described recently as a “critical risk to life” by Jonathan Slater, who was permanent education secretary from 2016 to 2000 and who specifically asked the Chancellor at the time – Rishi Sunak – for funding to repair the crumbling infrastructure. Sunak refused, offering only a fraction of the amount actually needed. Now we have schools turning into ticking timebombs, and Sunak’s Conservatives are doing everything they can to pretend the problem isn’t real.
Unfortunately for them, the problem is real.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, the critical risk to life means that our children and vulnerable loved ones are in danger (remember that the exact same problematic material was also used in the construction of many NHS hospitals).
This bill was the first step in a long path towards finding out the extent of the problem. This was an opportunity to step up and protect the most vulnerable in society, and unfortunately the Conservatives blocked it.
Our Conservative MPs
Hillingdon is “fortunate” enough to have two Conservative MPs at the moment, and both voted against this Bill, essentially voting to cover up the failings of the government and the Prime Minister. These are not the actions of anyone who cares about the safety of our children, so both David Simmonds and Steve Tuckwell should think about their duties to look after their constituents, and should both be ashamed of what they have done.