After repeated queries about where he was amid the current crises – such as the rising cost of living, strikes across public sector industries, looming recession, inflation and a collapsing NHS – this is the prime minister’s first major statement for 2023.
Before the official speech, Sunak briefed journalists that he intends to make the UK “reimagine our approach to numeracy”, as “data is everywhere and statistics underpin every job”.
He is expected to say: “And letting our children out into the world without those skills is letting our children down.”
But, opposition parties have leapt into action to criticise the announcement.
The Liberal Democrats dubbed the proposal an “admission of failure from the prime minister” that children’s education was “neglected”. Labour’s shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson also said it was just an “empty pledge” without the promise of more funding.
And, as many of his Twitter critics pointed out, Sunak’s statement overlooks the arguably more pressing issues facing the country right now – like the state of the health service.
So, obviously, snarky comments about the bleak numbers around the health service right now quickly flooded the platform.
There were tweets about the alleged cronyism in the government too...
And, of course, questions about why he chose to promote this rather obscure idea right now...
It’s also an idea that his colleague, current levelling up secretary Michael Gove, previously proposed back in 2011 when he was in the education department.