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Boris Johnson calls for compulsory sport

09/08/2012 Joanna
Just hours after prime minister David Cameron attempted to justify the government's decision to scrap the compulsory weekly target for sports education in schools, London's mayor Boris Johnson appeared to contradict his colleague by calling for a minimum of two hours' exercise a day.

While Mr Cameron described the two hour per week minimum as nothing more than a box ticking exercise that meant schools could get away with not putting in as much effort as they otherwise might, Mr Johnson said that instead of scrapping the targets he would like to see them increased.

Speaking at a press conference to discuss the legacy of the London Olympics, the Mayor told reporters: "I would like frankly to see the regime I used to enjoy: a compulsory two hours of sport every day - that's made me who I am.

"I've no doubt that is the sort of thing that would be wonderful for kids across this country. I think it is of profound importance for the happiness and success of this country that we have more sport in schools."

Labour leader Ed Miliband also weighed into the debate, taking to Twitter to say that those people to whom he had spoken were complaining about a lack of funding.

"Southwark school sports co-ordinator ... told me schools have now told him they are doing much less because of loss of support," he tweeted.

As well as drawing criticism from the opposition, Mr Cameron also angered teaching groups by appearing to point the finger at those in education jobs for not doing enough to promote sport in school.

"The problem has been … some teachers not wanting to join in and play their part," he told the LBC radio programme.

In response, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, called the comments "foolhardy".

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