Eamonn Holmes rages ‘we’ve got a foreign aid budget – use THAT’ amid crumbling schools fiasco

Ellie Costello and Eamonn Holmes

Eamonn Holmes has fumed at the ongoing schools fiasco

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 04/09/2023

- 08:42

Updated: 04/09/2023

- 08:46

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has vowed the government will "will do what it takes" to save unfit-for-purpose schools

The government has determined that over 100 schools will have to shut either fully or partially just days before the new school term as a result of poor conditions.

The closures stem from the discovery of dangerous reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) among a number of education establishments.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson has branded the entire ordeal a "scandal" as "parents are being left in the dark" ahead of the new school terms.

And the government has irked parents further as it hasn't published a full list of the approximately 7,000 schools that may be affected.

Eamonn Holmes and Ellie Costello weighed in with their thoughts on the chaos on Monday's Breakfast and pulled no punches with their thoughts.

"A lot of you are incredulous as to why this wasn't known until this weekend," Eamonn began after hearing Phillipson's take on the matter.

"And we just want these ministers to come clean, say it straight," he added before he reeled off his own suggestion.

Eamonn continued: "I put it to an education expert that we have got the money for this, (apparently) there's no money to repair these schools...

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt has vowed to do 'what it takes' to mend the schools


"(But) we've got a foreign aid budget. Now, surely that foreign aid budget shouldn't be foreign anymore," Eamonn insisted.

He explained: "It should just be an aid budget for what we need in these countries."

Ellie held a similar stance as she weighed in: "Well, it needs clearing up doesn't it?

"We were told that the teachers increase in salary, the pay rises they were asking for, they weren't going to get it from those pre-existing budgets.

"But now 156 school buildings are going to have to be rebuilt with those budgets. It doesn't quite make sense."

Eamonn pointed out that if the money were to be used from these pre-existing budgets rather than diverting the already allocated funds, it would prove detrimental in other areas of the education system.

He explained: "But it isn't just like there's a cash cow sitting there that we can dip into.

"The money doesn't exist anyway, the money has been allocated.

"And if you're gonna start repairing your classroom, then you haven't got a classroom assistant, you haven't got books or facilities for them.

"So the education curriculum will suffer as a result," Eamonn added to which Ellie agreed: "And the children will suffer."

Ellie and Eamonn on GB News Breakfast

Eamonn said viewers were 'incredulous' at the reports


Chancellor Hunt has spoken publicly about the chaos over the weekend, saying: "This problem is currently affecting around 100 schools but the majority of those are able to operate face-to-face."

Hunt acknowledged more "awkward" and "difficult" information about the school at risk could arise but refused to speculate or reveal the list of schools he was referring to.

Instead, he reiterated the government's stance on the issue as he said: "What people need to know is that however difficult it is... we will do absolutely what it takes."

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