Concrete crisis deepens as minister admits Rishi DID reject calls to rebuild more schools but PM says he's not to blame | The Sun
THE concrete crisis engulfing Rishi Sunak ramped up today as Schools' Minister Nick Gibb admitted the PM DID previously reject calls to fix more dodgy buildings.
Mr Gibb said the Department for Education begged the Treasury for funding to construct or refurbish 200 schools every year in 2021.
But then-Chancellor Mr Sunak quashed the plea, instead opting to continue with the previous target of 50 rebuilds per year.
Yesterday the Department for Education’s former top civil servant Jonathan Slater similarly alleged Mr Sunak had halved cash for crumbling classrooms.
But defending his record, a defiant PM said claims he slashed funding for school rebuilding are "utterly wrong".
Despite admitting the Treasury slapped down pleas for extra cash, Mr Gibb defended the government's record.
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He told Sky News: "We are taking more proactive action on that than any other government in the world.
"Every school that has a problem with Raac, we are sending in a caseworker to work with the school.
"In some schools it will just be one room, a cupboard. In other schools it will be a sports hall indeed or it might be pervasive throughout the school.
"So it will depend on the level of Raac in the school. What we are clear about is that no child, no member of staff will be in a room that has Raac."
Mr Gibb vowed that a full list of schools riddled with the dangerous concrete will be published online before Friday.
Ministers have delayed releasing the register in order to check it's completely accurate.
It comes as potty mouthed Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is facing pressure over her handling of the scandal.
Yesterday the gaffe-prone minister was caught on camera ranting about how she's done a "f***ing good job" dealing with the crisis while others have "sat on their arse and done nothing".
Today Mr Gibb pointed the finger at town hall chiefs as the targets of Ms Keegan's tirade.
He told Times Radio: "I am frustrated that since March last year we've asked every responsible body, local authorities, trusts, dioceses to respond to our questionnaire.
"Now, 95 percent of them responded, they've responded rapidly and action has been taken on the basis of those questionnaires. But there's still five per cent remaining.
"And we have chased those questionnaires several times."
Ms Keegan faced further flak after it was revealed she flew to Spain for a holiday on August 25, returning on August 31, just as the Raac crisis erupted.
Allies said she joined video calls while abroad.
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And Town Hall chiefs hit back after Ms Keegan singled out local authorities as bearing responsibility for their school buildings.
Local Government Association chair Shaun Davies insisted he had been refused a meeting with the Education Secretary.
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