The new Education Minister has had an absolute ‘mare of a BBC Breakfast interview this morning.
Nadhim Zahawi appeared on the show to discuss the new (ish) government £3,000 premium to encourage talented maths and science teachers to go and work in disadvantaged areas as part of Boris Johnson’s nebulous “levelling up” programme, but ended up needing his own levelling up to improve his performance.
Questioned about how teachers will benefit from “higher wages” while their wages are actually frozen amid a period of inflation, Zahawi waffled about teacher’s average salaries before mumbling and stuttering:
“All I would say to you is the average salary of a teacher is now £41,800. The increase because it’s not just inflation, and you’re right, there has been a pay freeze by teachers actually from 2021 back to 2020/2019.
“The increase is about seven percent because teachers have a path to increasing their salary as they improve and extend their experience.”
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A befuddled Charlie Stayt who was interviewing the minister replied: “Okay, if I may I‘m going to jump in because I don’t really understand what you’re saying.”
Zahawi nodded and said: “Sure”.
Reacting to the clip, people found it pretty awkward and praised Stayt for his intervention:
Zahawi also appeared on Sky News this morning and defended Johnson’s conference speech, which was criticised for being rather joke heavy and policy light.
Then he put on his old vaccines minister hat to talk on talkRadio about whether the UK should introduce compulsory coronavirus vaccines:
Busy day, then.