A STUDENT was suspended from school after shouting at the Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi.

Mr Zahawi and Guy Opperman MP visited Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School to officially open the new buildings.

Graeme Atkins, Queen Elizabeth High School's Executive Headteacher, led a short tour of both schools with pupils before an opening ceremony took place where they cut a ribbon and unveiled a plaque.

James Aitken, 15, was in class when the Secretary of State and MP Opperman were on their tour walking past his building.

"We all heard Nadhim Zahawi was visiting the school with our local MP and we were keen to see him," James said.

"Lots of my friends would have liked to have asked him questions but we were in lessons. When Mr Zahawi came out of the Middle School building into the courtyard below our classroom, everyone ran to the windows, which were open."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a confidence vote to determine if the majority of Conservative MPs wanted him to remain as PM following revelations he broke the lockdown rules he imposed on the country last year.

The Education Secretary supported him to remain PM.

James went on to say: "I saw him and shouted, 'Why are you defending a criminal, Mr Education Secretary?' because I was so angry that he had supported Boris Johnson continuing to be leader last week but also that politicians were taking credit for our brilliant school.

"I think he definitely heard me because he stopped and looked up and I was suspended from school the next day, but also the rest of the class, who did nothing at all, have now all got detentions too, which is completely unfair."

James said he was sorry he upset and embarrassed the school and served his one day suspension on Monday. 

"I believe strongly in freedom of speech and the right to protest," James said.

During the Secretary's visit to the school there was a protest about Boris Johnson and education funding outside of the school gates.

"They were asked to move on – they didn't – because that is their right still in this country," said James.

"We are here at school to learn about life and yet we were not allowed to ask questions – only specially selected children got to meet them.

"While I totally understand why the school suspended me for 'unacceptable behaviour' I felt our outstanding school was being used as a political toy - when it is a brilliant school because of the wonderful teachers and support staff – they have made it what it is today, not the politicians who have been driving public services into the ground.

"I think it is right to raise our heads, speak up and question these issues, not to follow blindly. Let students speak."

Nadhim Zahawi, Queen Elizabeth High School and Guy Opperman MP were contacted for comment but none had replied by the time we went to press.