Leader of the Labour Party, Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP and Rushanara Ali MP visited Bethnal Green Academy this morning to talk to teachers, staff and students. They discussed the Shoreditch Citizens' campaign for a Living Wage, opportunities for young people in Tower Hamlets, and the challenges facing schools and colleges in Tower Hamlets and across the country.
This morning, Rushanara Ali MP, spoke to BBC London about the latest child poverty figures released by the End Child Poverty Campaign, which showed that Bethnal Green and Bow has the highest child poverty figures in the country at 51%.
Rushanara Ali said:
"On the day it was announced that Tower Hamlets is suffering the most severe levels of child poverty in the country, both Ed Miliband and I were highly encouraged by the ideas and enthusiasm of local people working and studying at the Bethnal Green Academy.
Ed has consistently pressed the Conservative-led Coalition on the important issues of opportunities for young people and the squeezed living standards of hard working families. Our visit to the Bethnal Green Academy has covered extremely positive ground, and I was pleased that we were able to talk about solutions such as the Living Wage campaign and investing in the futures of our young people to ensure we don't create a lost generation of talented young people."
Speaking to BBC London about the latest child poverty figures, Rushanara Ali said:
"These figures are very disappointing. Under the last Labour Government, we reduced child poverty by almost 1 million. Labour put in measures to tackle child poverty, but now it is creeping back. It is not acceptable that a generation of children are going to be condemned to poverty because of this government's policies. David Cameron's constituency has 7% child poverty, Nick Clegg's has 5%, but Bethnal Green and Bow has 51%. My constituency epitomises this Government's failure, they are not taking the actions needed to tackle child poverty. The Government needs to take responsibility and business needs to take responsibility. This is a call to arms to the business community to work with me to alleviate child poverty in Bethnal Green and Bow."