MPs are questioned by Bradford College students in special event (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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MPs are questioned by Bradford College students in special event
The Bradford Council staff who oversaw the contract with the developer Westfield should be sacked, according to two of the district’s MPs.
The unlikely alliance between Conservative MP Philip Davies and Respect MP George Galloway was formed at a packed debate at Bradford College yesterday, as students grilled MPs on a variety of topics.
Mr Galloway, who represents Bradford West, asked how a contract had been drawn up in which the developers could seemingly face no penalties if they failed to deliver their proposed scheme.
And Shipley MP Philip Davies (Con) said: “It’s an absolute disgrace. We should never have been put in that position.”
He said he had to agree with Mr Galloway on the matter.
He said: “Whoever handled that contract should lose their job. He’s absolutely right.”
But Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem) insisted work would start at Westfield this year and accused Mr Galloway of never having met the developers.
In a lively and passionate debate, Mr Ward came under fire from students for his party’s failure to stick to its pledges on tuition fees, while Mr Galloway was criticised for once having confused Bradford with Blackburn and Mr Davies was grilled over his position on cuts to benefits.
Students were handed coloured cards to wave, blue if they agreed with the speaker, pink if they disagreed and yellow if they thought the speaker was evading the question.
Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe (Lab) had been unable to attend because he was stuck on a train, the packed canteen was told.
The MPs were asked what they thought of the Government’s climbdown over introducing the English Baccaleaureate Certificate as a replacement for some GCSEs.
Mr Ward said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the recent announcement.”
He said the Educational Select Committee, which he sat on, had produced a report last week raising concerns about the EBC.
Mr Davies said GCSEs had needed reforming as the qualifications had become worthless to employers.
He said: “People had been ending up with qualifications which, quite frankly, have been worthless. The last Government played a confidence trick on people.”
He said while 30 years ago people could leave school at 16 with O-levels and get a job, now that wasn’t the case.
He said: “Now if you go to an employer with ten GCSEs at A to C, an employer will say ‘Everyone’s got that, it means nothing to me’.”
Mr Galloway said: “I find it very very strange to hear a situation described as a problem because not enough people are failing.”
He asked Mr Davies to point out the students in the room who should not have passed their GCSEs.