Isabel Hardman

Priti Patel brings primary schools into the EU debate

Priti Patel brings primary schools into the EU debate
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Another interesting change of tack in the EU referendum campaign comes from the Leave camp today, with Priti Patel warning about school places. The employment minister warns that EU migration is putting ‘unsustainable pressure’ on schools, saying:

‘The shortage of primary school places is yet another example of how uncontrolled migration is putting unsustainable pressures on our public services.

‘Education is one of the most important things the Government delivers, and it’s deeply regrettable that so many families with young children are set to be disappointed today.’

In one sense, this isn’t a surprising intervention: it’s primary school offer day, when parents find out whether their children have got places at their first choice. But what is significant is that this is a government minister criticising an aspect of domestic government policy. The Tories have spent the past few years fending off attacks from Labour about a shortage of primary school spaces, and are now getting a similar attack from within their own party. And this sort of attack will stick after the referendum too.

Written byIsabel Hardman

Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator. She also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is author of Why We Get The Wrong Politicians.

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