Sunday, 20 February 2011

Labour's Leighton Andrews' Extraordinary Live TV Coco Pops Outburst

Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceIt was quite an astonishing live media outburst from the Labour Welsh Education Minister during yesterday's Welsh Labour Party conference in Llandudno.

Wind forward on the BBC iPlayer link here to 54 minutes and you will see a visibly angry Education Minister lambasting BBC political journalist Aled ap Dafydd when he challenged the Minister on Labour's free school breakfasts policy when Wales ranks so low in a league table of reading assessments.

The key extracts...

Aled ap Dafydd: "You're giving coco pops to kids for breakfast, for free, that's something that parents might want, they might welcome that, but more importantly I suppose to parents will be the assessments when it comes to reading for example...

Leighton Andrews: "I really object to your snooty, middle-class attack on our free breakfast scheme. That is a disgrace. A thousand schools in Wales are pursuing our free breakfast scheme and you talk about coco pops - you are a disgrace to the BBC. This is a policy that has been really popular across the whole of Wales...

Aled ap Dafydd: "I am not doubting it's popularity, I am doubting where does it compare to reading assessments where Wales are ranked 38th out of about 60 countries. Shouldn't the priority be based on educational attainment rather than giving free breakfasts to kids?".

Did Aled touch a nerve there Leighton?

Leighton Andrews has a rather combustible reputation at the best of times but this nevertheless was quite an extraordinary outburst.

Yes this is a popular scheme, but as Aled was alluding too, spending per head of pupil in Wales is some £604 less than it is in England (£5,595 in Wales as opposed to £6,199 in England). This isn't good enough and I get the feeling from looking at Leighton's body language during this interview that he was not at all happy at this raw point being made so close to the Assembly elections. Linking it to the free breakfasts saw him lose his cool entirely.

Full marks to Aled ap Dafydd for keeping his cool having been on the receiving end of such a verbal tirade.

A Dedicated Follower of Fashion...
A little addenum - it looks as if our Education Minister is seeking to try out a new line in fashion. His suit jacket with shirt and tie crossed with jeans combination look could catch on.

But personally, I don't think it's for me.


  1. Will have a look later. Got a job to go and do in a few mins, even on a Sunday.

    (PS - I presume alluring should read alluding?)

    An interesting blog. How did you manage to find the little gem from a desperate Labour party trying to regain control in May.

  2. Thanks for the spell-check there Andrew - just checking you're awake!

  3. geat post, have a wonderfull sunday !!!