Jeremy Vine apologises for playing Beyonce's Halo

Jeremy Vine apologises after discussing RAAC schools concrete crisis on Radio 2 show moments before playing Beyonce’s Halo… which contains the lyrics: ‘Remember those walls I built? Well, baby, they’re tumblin’ down’

  • Jeremy Vine played the Beyonce song Halo after discussing the concrete crisis
  • The Radio 2 presenter later apologised for the scheduling decision on Twitter 

Jeremy Vine has apologised for playing the Beyonce song ‘Halo’ just moments after talking about the concrete crisis that has led to the closure of more than 100 British schools. 

The radio host played Beyonce’s song – which contains the lyrics ‘Remember those walls I built? Well, baby, they’re tumblin’ down’ – after reading out a listener’s commment which slammed the UK for its handling of the concrete crisis. 

‘France has banned RAAC concrete. We accept it. Successive governments have been incapable of keeping our kids safe,’ the comment read out by the Radio 2 presenter said. 

Vine later apologised for the song lineup on Twitter after social media users pointed out the  implications behind the scheduling decision. 

‘This is on me. Apologies everyone,’ the Radio 2 presenter said, after a Twitter poster commented: ‘Still deciding whether the music scheduler should be sacked or given a pay rise…’

Jeremy Vine played the Beyonce song Halo – which features the lyrics ‘Remember those walls I built? Well, baby, they’re tumblin’ down’ – while discussing the concrete crisis

The radio presenter apologised for the lineup after a Twitter user pointed out the scheduling decision

More than 100 schools across Britain have been forced to close buildings following concerns about the safety of the reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) used in their construction. 

The UK government has, however, claimed its response to the RAAC crisis has been  ‘world-leading’ – despite having ordered the full or partial closure of more than 100 schools in England just weeks before the start of term.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb’s comments came after his boss Gillian Keegan said she was frustrated that no one was acknowledging what a ‘f****** good job’ she was doing.

READ MORE: RAAC concrete safety measures could see schools closed until 2024 as portacabins and marquees are shipped in to replace crumbling classrooms and pupils return to lockdown learning

Mr Gibb said the Department for Education (DfE) was acting to keep children safe from the risk posed by collapse-prone reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac).

Asked about the Education Secretary’s sweary outburst, Mr Gibb told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘What she was trying to get across is the huge amount of work that the DfE has done.

‘We are world-leading in terms of identifying where Raac is in our school estate.

‘We’re talking about a small number of schools out of 22,500 schools, but we have conducted surveys since March last year, so we know where Raac is, and we’re sending in surveyors to identify Raac.

‘And then the decision was taken, an important decision was taken last Thursday to keep children safe with new evidence that emerged about non-critical Raac that we now believe is unsafe, and we took the difficult decision because we want to keep children safe.’

In criticism caught on camera after an interview on Monday, a frustrated Ms Keegan hit out at those who she argued had ‘sat on their arse and done nothing’.

She also questioned why no one was saying ‘you’ve done a f****** good job’, before being forced to go before broadcasters to apologise for the language she used.

Ms Keegan went on to admit to being on holiday in Spain in the run up to ordering more than 100 schools and colleges in England to make complete or partial closures.

She was facing her Cabinet colleagues on Tuesday morning as the Prime Minister assembled his top team for their first meeting since returning from the long Commons’ summer break.

Ministers have been accused of taking a ‘sticking plaster approach’ to essential maintenance by the head of the Whitehall spending watchdog.

Writing in the Times, National Audit Office chief Gareth Davies suggested that there had not been sufficient focus on ‘unflashy but essential tasks’ such as maintaining public buildings that have faced ‘underinvestment’.

The RAAC crisis has led tot eh closure of more than 100 British schools following concerns about the safety of the building material

On Monday, the Prime Minister admitted hundreds more schools could have been built with problematic Raac.

He insisted that 95% of England’s schools were unaffected, leaving open the possibility that more than a thousand could still be impacted by the collapse-risk material.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak is urged to a get a grip as Gillian Keegan’s TV blunder exposes Tory chaos in response to the concrete crisis that has forced more than 100 schools to close days before the new year

Downing Street said the total number was expected to be in the hundreds rather than the thousands.

Mr Sunak was also accused by a former top official at the Department for Education (DfE) of having declined a request for funding to rebuild more schools while he was chancellor.

RAAC is a lightweight form of concrete that was used to build schools, colleges and other buildings across the country from the 1950s to the mid-1980s. 

Concerns have been raised about the product’s safety, with the Standing Committee on Structural Safety stating the material is ‘very different from traditional concrete and, because of how it was made, much weaker’.

RAAC’s weaknesses mean the material has a life expectancy of 30 years and is susceptible to sudden failure. 

The collapse of a classroom ceiling in Singlewell primary school in Gravesend, Kent in 2018 heightened fears over a looming crisis, as it was revealed that 700,000 children are currently being taught in schools made using RAAC. 

The UK government has subsequently come under fire for failing to manage the problem, which has been known about for more than three decades. 

Following the collapse of the Singlewell primary school ceiling in 2018, the Department for Education only sent out a questionnaire asking schools about the presence of RAAC in their buildings in March 2022. 

The crisis has also raised concerns that crumbling RAAC concrete could lead to children being exposed to asbestos in Britain’s schools. 

Fears were raised the crisis could lead to a return of lockdown-style learning, with schoolchildren forced to take their lessons online. 

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