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Boris Johnson a bad role model for youngsters, says social mobility tsar | Boris Johnson

The authorities’s social mobility tsar has stated she doesn’t assume Boris Johnson is a good role model for youngsters.

Katharine Birbalsingh, who was appointed chair of the Social Mobility Commission (SMC) in 2021, advised Sky News that whereas she appreciated the prime minister she didn’t assume he was “professional enough”, including his personal life makes her “raise an eyebrow”.

Birbalsingh, the pinnacle of Michaela group college in Wembley, who was not too long ago the topic of a documentary referred to as Britain’s Strictest Headmistress, was requested if she believed Johnson was a good role model.

Katharine Birbalsingh.
Katharine Birbalsingh. Photograph: S Meddle/ITV/Rex/ Shutterstock

She stated: “No, I don’t think so, I wish he could be, but he isn’t and that is a bit sad.

“I like Boris, I don’t think he’s a bad guy you know, but I don’t know enough about what he’s got up to, but I do not think that he is a good role model for children.”

When pushed on why she believed this, she stated: “His personal life, for instance, that does make me raise an eyebrow. The other day I saw a picture of him in the metro and I looked at his hair and I thought, oh my goodness, we expect our children to have professional-looking hair.

“Now, you might think that’s a bit pedantic and that’s a bit silly, but it isn’t actually. It’s important to look professional and sometimes Boris looks professional, but sometimes he’s not professional enough for me. Put it that way.”

In her inaugural speech because the SMC’s chair, Birbalsingh appealed for a radical rethink of what social mobility means, saying it mustn’t simply be about opening up elite pathways for the few.

She argued that widening entry to school has “not always brought the dividends hoped for”, though greater than 80% of sixth-formers on the college the place she is headteacher went on to Russell Group universities final year.

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