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London Mayor Sadiq Khan confronts Boris Johnson on school closures

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has consistently challenged the government over its management of the Covid-19 pandemic

London mayor, Sadiq Khan, is applying pressure on Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to close London’s schools and colleges early and reopen later in January 2021 to counter “significant” Covid-19 outbreaks among children and teenagers.

In a letter to the PM, Khan says “urgent consideration must … be given to closing secondary schools, sixth form and FE [Further Education] colleges a few days early and keeping them closed for longer after Christmas”.

In his letter the London mayor described the surge in coronavirus cases in the capital as “deeply concerning” to the extent that there had been a 75 percent increase of those aged 10-19 testing positive for the virus in the last week alone.

Referencing the Christmas break, Khan said: “If the government isn't careful these children will pass on the virus to really vulnerable people because the rules are relaxed [over the holidays]".

"My message to the government is if you can't keep the schools Covid safe in the last few days before Christmas, it's better to err on the side of caution and revert to online teaching for these few days", the London mayor added.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Department for Education said it is “vital” children remained in school until the end of term.

This is not the first time Khan has clashed with the government over the management of the pandemic.

In September, Khan called for more Covid-19 restrictions in London whilst at the same time criticizing the government for failing to institute an effective test and trace system.

And earlier in July, the London mayor revealed that Johnson had not spoken to him for “two and half months” despite the raging pandemic in London and across the country.



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