Richard Madeley says Rishi Sunak deserves ‘smack in the chops’ over maths to 18 plan

Richard Madeley says Rishi Sunak deserves ‘smack in the chops’ over maths to 18 plan

Richard Madeley has criticised Rishi Sunak’s forthcoming maths initiative on Good Morning Britain.

The TV presenter told viewers that the Prime Minister should get a “smack in the chops” over the plans.

On Wednesday’s (4 January) instalment of the breakfast show, it was discussed that Sunak will give his first speech of 2023 to unveil a new initiative to boost numeracy skills in England’s schools.

Sunak is expected to declare that students should be taught maths until the age of 18, to combat high rates of innumeracy.

The UK remains one of the only countries in the world that does not require children to study some form of maths up to the age of 18.

The Conservative Party leader has been criticised by Good Morning Britain viewers for prioritising the “maths to 18” plan amid ongoing industrial action, the cost of living crisis and problems within the NHS.

Discussing the backlash against the initiative on the show, Daily Mirror editor Kevin Maguire said: “For Sunak to go down this route is ridiculous.”

“He’s asking for a smack on the chops, isn’t he?” Madeley asked. “Politically speaking.”

Madeley criticised Sunak’s maths to 18 plan (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)
Madeley criticised Sunak’s maths to 18 plan (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

GMB co-host Susanna Reid quickly intervened to clarify: “Metaphorically, shall we say.”

Fellow guest political commentator Ed Vaizey, however, argued on the show that the initiative is the “right policy”.

“It is a good idea to study maths until 18,” he told the programme.

Reid and Madeley read out viewer’s comments on the forthcoming initiative, with one person calling Sunak the “most unrelatable Prime Minister ever”.

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Madeley reiterated that GMB had not received one positive comment from a viewer who supported the plan.

On Wednesday (4 January) afternoon, Sunak is expected to unveil the plan.

The PM will say that with the “right plan”, he sees “no reason” why “we cannot rival the best education systems in the world”.

He is expected to say: “This is personal for me. Every opportunity I’ve had in life began with the education I was so fortunate to receive.”

He will also emphasise the importance of numeracy, stressing “our children’s jobs will require more analytical skills”.