Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green said the Labour Party should not “let a good crisis go to waste”, saying that her party should use the China virus to push through more government spending in areas like education.
The Labour frontbencher echoed the infamous line from former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel during a ‘Labour Connected’ online event on Sunday, in which she called for the party to push the government for more education spending during the pandemic.
“I think there’s obviously a real immediate pressure to address these funding needs for the crisis,” she said per The Sun, adding: “But I think we should use the opportunity, don’t let a good crisis go to waste.”
“We can really see now what happens when you under-resource schools, when you under-resource families and communities,” Green said.
“And I think that particularly for those of us in Labour, let’s be talking now about what this has really exposed, about the way in which we’ve undervalued our whole education system,” she concluded.
The comments sparked outrage, with some likening the cold-hearted sentiments to the socialist ambitions of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Conservative MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow wrote: “What an appalling thing to say. It’s clear Jeremy Corbyn’s far-left extremism is never far from the surface. If Sir Keir Starmer is serious about change, he needs to show leadership and remove Kate Green from his team.”
Boris Brings in £10,000 Quarantine Fines as Khan Demands Lockdown https://t.co/TosuCeEoGy
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 20, 2020
Chairman of the Conservative Party Amanda Milling also took aim at the statements, saying: “It’s beyond reprehensible that a member of Sir Keir Starmer’s top team would want to take advantage of a global pandemic.”
“Labour’s leader may have changed, but it’s clear that under Sir Keir Labour still don’t stand on the side of the British people,” Milling added.
In an interview on Good Morning Britain, Shadow Defence Secretary Lisa Nandy said that Ms Green is “really upset” about how her comments “came across”, but acknowledged that “it was not the right way to express it at all”.
Nandy defended Green’s comments by claiming: “She was making the point that we have got to make sure that this COVID crisis doesn’t worsen that divide and doesn’t write some children off.”
She said that Green was “talking in the context of ten years of cuts to public services including schools”.
The shadow defence secretary went on to say: “I am sure she will apologise if she hasn’t already.”
“Let me apologise for the way that has come across. Nobody thinks that there is anything good about this crisis.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan says "structural racism" in Britain has led to more racial minorities dying from coronavirus. https://t.co/sAUVrZc4Fr
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 22, 2020
Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka