A man has used a Labour conference fringe meeting on “toxic testing” in schools to highlight the tragic story of the death of his son, aged seven.
Kye Gbangbola initially met with laughs when he admitted to the audience that he had thought the fringe meeting was about environmental testing.
But the mood changed very quickly when he told how his son Zane had been poisoned by toxic gas which had leaked into the family home from an unregulated former landfill site.
Mr Gbangbola said he himself was left a paraplegic due to poisoning from the hydrogen cyanide gas which he says leaked during floods in Chertsey, Surrey, in 2014.
He said: “Four in five people in the UK live within 2km of a landfill site, and flooding in the UK has been widespread.
“Without a comprehensive investigation into the effects of flooding on landfill, toxic gas may claim more lives.”
The meeting was chaired by Tes editor Ann Mroz, who allowed Mr Gbangbola to speak. Other panellists included Mary Bousted, joint-general secretary of the NEU teaching union and shadow education minister Mike Kane.