Government's Social Mobility Tsar Thinks Boris Johnson Is Not A Good Role Model For Children

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
.Katharine Birbalsingh:
.Katharine Birbalsingh:

.Katharine Birbalsingh: "I wish he could be, but he isn’t." (Photo: PA News)

The government’s social mobility tsar has suggested Boris Johnson’s personal life and hairstyle do not make him a good role model for children

Katharine Birbalsingh, the chair of the Social Mobility Commission, told Sky News’s Beth Rigby Interviews that the PM was sometimes “not professional enough for me”.

Birbalsingh, who set up the Michaela Community School in Brent and has been billed Britain’s strictest headteacher, is a regular speaker at the Conservative party conference.

She was asked if she felt Johnson is a good role model for children, and replied: “No, I do not think so. I don’t. 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...but I do not think he’s a good role model for children.”

Asked why, she said: “Well, his personal life for instance. That does make me sort of raise an eyebrow.

“His hair you know, we’ve got strict rules at school.

“I looked at his hair and I thought, gosh, I couldn’t put him up on the wall and say, let’s all have haircuts like him.

“You might think, that’s a bit pedantic and that’s a bit silly, but it isn’t actually I think for our children.

“It’s important to look professional, and sometimes Boris looks professional, but sometimes he’s not professional enough for me, put it that way.”

Asked about family values, Birbalsingh said: “It’s a sort of thing that makes me pause a little bit...I’d say I’m relatively liberal about these things to a certain extent but he does kind of push the boat out a bit on that.”

Birbalsingh was appointed as the chair of the commission in 2021 and gave her inaugural speech on Thursday.

The SMC State of the Nation 2022 report will be published later in June, setting out a framework to revise how social mobility is measured.

A new social mobility index will track social mobility by occupation, income and other outcomes across the UK.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.


Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting