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David Cameron and Boris Johnson visit Bermondsey’s City of London Academy

London SE1 website team

Tory leader David Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson were joined by Olympic rower James Cracknell and rugby player Gavin Hastings for a Bank Holiday visit to Bermondsey's City of London Academy.

Devon Hanson
Devon Hanson, principal of the Walworth Academy, was described by David Cameron as "a great man"

During the visit, to highlight Conserative policy on school sport, Cameron and Johnson met members of Greenhouse Bethwin SE Football Club which is based at Burgess Park.

Cameron fielded a range of questions from members of the football club. The boys were unimpressed by Cameron's announcement that he supports Aston Villa.

One boy asked what the Conservatives could offer the borough of Southwark.

"I think more good schools like this," replied David Cameron. "We're big fans of the academy programme. We think that getting more academies into our schools – and getting more sport into our schools ... – makes a big difference.

"I was at a girls' school in Southwark recently – the Harris Academy – and I was really impressed there. Every single person who was doing their GCSEs had a mentor from outside the school who was helping them prepare for life after school... I think the academy programme is a really great thing."

He also singled out SE1's Walworth Academy for praise, describing principal Devon Hanson as "a great man".

"He's one of the most impressive headteachers I've met. When new kids are going to his school he goes to the parents' home and sets out with them a little contract about how the parents are going to back the school and how kids are going to behave.

"I think he's running a really great school. I think more academy schools in neighbourhoods like this make a real difference."

Although this was a tightly managed photo opportunity there were still tough questions – Cameron was accused by one Southwark youth of bullying Gordon Brown during the recent televised debates, whilst Boris Johnson declared "this is getting out of control" when another audience member appeared to suggest abolishing the Oyster card.

Cameron's visit to Southwark followed Gordon Brown's Sunday appearance at the InSpire centre just off Walworth Road.

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