LABOUR councillor Michael Marra spoke for nearly six minutes during the Mornings with Kaye Adams programme today – but his political affiliation was not mentioned.

Adams hosted a call-in about Scottish Government plans to get pupils back to school part-time following the coronavirus lockdown.

The plans have been the focus of debate today with some parents saying more needs to be done to get pupils learning full-time again, and Scottish Government virus adviser Devi Sridhar saying if Covid-19 can be suppressed to less than 20 cases then schools could be in a position to open in a way that’s closer to normality with little need for physical distancing between pupils.

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Adams said: “It’s up to local authorities to design the programme for their area, there seems to be quite a lot of differential across the country – we’ve just been speaking to Sarah there from Ratho, she was motivated just at the weekend to gather together a group of parents to try and agitate for a better response to this.”

She then introduced Lochee councillor and former Scottish Labour deputy leader candidate Marra without mentioning his job.

The presenter said: “We’ve got Michael Marra with us, good morning to you Michael.

“Am I right in saying that like Sarah you’ve been motivated to set up a campaign?”

Marra explained he is leading a group called Better Than This for Scotland’s Children, which is campaigning for the Government to come up with a national plan for reopening schools rather than allow individual councils to figure out arrangements.

He told the programme: “The thing that provoked me in the first instance was I have a grown-up daughter and she has her own son and he has been offered one day one week, two days another week, in school.”

The councillor argued that given that this pandemic is going to last for some time, more needs to be done than what’s on offer.

He said: “It needs to be a national plan, emergency plan to maximise time in schools, recruit the staff to make it happen, and an emergency national curriculum of online materials, making sure that people have got access to that when they don’t have laptops or broadband.”

Marra spoke to Adams for about six minutes – and at no point was his position as a Labour councillor mentioned.

The BBC has been approached for comment.

Schools has been a major topic today, particularly after Sridhar explained how virus suppression could help pupils get back to normal in August. Opposition MSPs painted her tweets as criticism of the Scottish Government she advises, but she clarified she is “completely aligned” to the First Minister on the matter.

Nicola Sturgeon has criticised those who then “cast aspersions” on the professor’s integrity by suggesting she was made to write the post.