MP’S NAME DROPPED FROM SCHOOL PLAQUE

Burton Mail - - Front Page - By BETH PRIDDING bethany.pridding@reach­plc.com

AN­DREW Grif­fiths’ name has been re­moved from a plaque at a Bur­ton se­condary school af­ter pupils de­cided they did not want their school to be as­so­ci­ated with the shamed MP.

The MP had opened a £1.5 mil­lion maths build­ing at de Fer­rers Academy in 2016. But the school coun­cil de­cided to ask for his name to be re­moved from a com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque af­ter the rev­e­la­tions in the Sun­day Mir­ror that he sent 2,000 text mes­sages, some of a sex­ual na­ture, to two fe­male con­stituents.

The de Fer­rers Academy made the de­ci­sion to re­move the name af­ter pupils on the school coun­cil ap­proached head teacher Nick Holmes and he agreed.

Mar­ried Mr Grif­fiths re­signed as Small Business Min­is­ter ahead of the na­tional news­pa­per rev­e­la­tions in July, but said he wanted to con­tinue as Bur­ton’s MP. He apol­o­gised for his ac­tions.

The MP had opened the Phil Bax­ter maths build­ing. But this week his name on the me­tal plaque on the side of the build­ing has been cut off the bot­tom.

The build­ing at the school’s St Mary’s Drive cam­pus is named af­ter care­taker Phil Bax­ter, who worked at the school for 25 years. The plaque orig­i­nally read: “The Phil Bax­ter Build­ing, opened on

Septem­ber 27, 2016 by An­drew Grif­fiths MP”, but now Mr Grif­fiths’ name has been re­moved.

One of those heav­ily in­volved in the cam­paign to have Mr Grif­fiths’ name re­moved from the plaque was head boy Lewis An­der­son, 17. He said: “Sev­eral stu­dents came to me and men­tioned about the plaque with An­drew Grif­fiths’ name on it.

“We had a school coun­cil meet­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from ev­ery school year from Year 7 to 11. We had a brief dis­cus­sion about the al­le­ga­tions against him and there was then a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to have his name taken off the plaque that was up to com­mem­o­rate a care­taker.

“I then went to the head teacher and asked if we would be able to do this and we or­gan­ised it and now it has been done. I think the other pupils are happy about this and sup­port this.”

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of the de Fer­rers Trust, Ian McNeilly, said: “The pupils weren’t happy with the be­hav­iour that he has ad­mit­ted to. It’s not some­thing they want the school to be as­so­ci­ated with.

“Per­son­ally, I am very happy that our young peo­ple are be­ing po­lit­i­cally en­gaged and mak­ing these de­ci­sions.”

An­drew Grif­fiths has been con­tacted for a com­ment.

Top, the plaque at de Fer­rers Academy af­ter the re­moval of the name of Bur­ton MP An­drew Grif­fiths (left, cir­cled).

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