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Virginia Primry School, from left to right: Anishah Haider, student; Clive Davies, Deputy Headteacher; Kate Gooding, Headteacher; Shuhel Hoque, student

“Two Jobs” John doubles up to present Tory Boris’s awards

Biggs makes first pledge to keep a key Lutfur Rahman policy.

John “Two Jobs” Biggs found his luck was in last Monday when he opened the Healthy Schools and Healthy Early Years Celebration Event – held, like John Biggs’s Tower Hamlets mayoral election count, at the Excel Centre in Newham. For once, John Biggs found his two jobs overlapped: the Awards result from a scheme run by London Mayor Boris Johnson MP; but the largest number of bronze, silver and gold awards have been won by schools in Tower Hamlets. John Biggs was therefore able to combine his role on the Greater London Assembly with his second job as executive mayor of Tower Hamlets in the same outing.

The Healthy Schools London Awards celebrate the work being done to improve the health and wellbeing of school pupils. They are awarded to schools that have demonstrated a clear commitment to health and wellbeing for their students.

John Biggs entered into the spirit of the ceremony by using his opening speech to confirm that he will keep Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s school meals policy. Biggs said: “I pledged to continue to deliver free school meals to all primary school children, going above and beyond the government’s nationwide scheme.”

This is an extremely welcome concession by John Biggs: most Labour Councils do not dish out free meals to all primary pupils, so Biggs’s departure from Labour practice in order to keep Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s policy in place will be welcomed by the borough’s children and their parents.

As he opened the Awards Ceremony at the start of his second formal week in office, Biggs said, “It’s great to see our schools leading the charge across London.” The schools had been helped to lead the charge by Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Administration over four and a half years – but John Biggs appears to have forgotten to pay tribute to his predecessor’s role during what he had to say. Perhaps he was a bit tired after being in office for a week.

Boris Johnson MP, Mayor of London, (a man also juggling two full-time jobs) was also present. He said: “Congratulations to Tower Hamlets’ schools for their commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of pupils.” Again, just like John Biggs, he failed to mention the enormous contribution Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Administration had played in the achievement.



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