‘Why haven’t I been asked?’: Children put Covid-19 questions to Boris Johnson
A group of young reporters have put questions to the Prime Minister, asking why they have not been included in the Government’s discussions around Covid-19.
Media Cubs, an after-school club for children interested in journalism, has released a series of videos asking why they have not been part of the debate around the health crisis.
The questions were put to Boris Johnson, but Number 10 has declined to respond.
The youngsters are leading a new campaign, Raise Your Hands, to get all children to ask questions of the Prime Minister and other leaders.
Three 11-year-olds from Woodheys Primary School in Trafford, Greater Manchester, put forward questions.
Aisya, who runs her own blog site and aspires to be a photo-journalist, said: “Why have I not been asked what I think? My opinions, as well as my parents, teachers and those in charge of Manchester and the whole country, should matter.
“We want to get answers to our questions, we should always be a part of big conversations. We are small, but what we think matters and we might think about a good way to do something that a grown-up doesn’t.”
Sam, who wants to be a presenter and has written about Black Lives Matter for Media Cubs, asked about the disproportionate effect the virus has had on the BAME community.
She said: “Why have I not been asked about my future? Why does coronavirus affect black people more, and what could we do to prevent this?”
Jack, who loves drawing and aspires to become a cartoonist, asked: “Why can’t I see and hug my nanna but pubs and shops can open?”
Labour has backed calls for young people to be allowed to question the Government.
Cat Smith, shadow minister for young people, said: “From the very start, young people have been excluded from the conversation on coronavirus.
“Young people deserve to have their voices heard and have questions about the impact of the pandemic on their lives and future prospects that the Government must answer.”
Children have been encouraged to submit questions for Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, using the hashtag #AskTheMayor, which will be asked during a live video call on Monday.
A media cub will also join a Bureau of Investigative Journalism Q&A with Big Issue founder Lord John Bird on Friday.
The group has also secured a question and answer session with the Children’s Commissioner.
Led by mother and journalist Kirsty Day, Media Cubs works with children aged seven to 11.
The 39-year-old said: “Our mini reporters have the confidence to express their views and we believe they should be given a voice and be heard.”