A Labour candidate has slammed the government after data revealed Ilford South has some of the biggest primary school classes in the country.

With an average of 29.1 pupils per class, Ilford South ranks alongside the 20 worst constituencies on a list provided by the National Education Union (NEU), which used the government’s own data.

Sam Tarry, Labour candidate for Ilford South, said: "This is a damning indictment of years of failed austerity policies by this morally bankrupt Tory government.

"It's already a disgrace that Ilford South has the highest levels of child poverty in Essex and among the worst in the country.

"These shocking figures show that our children are also being failed in the classroom by the same ideologically-driven cuts. This is despite the efforts of our hardworking teachers, who deserve our full support.

“Only a Labour government will put an end to this barbarity, cut class sizes and ensure that our children thrive."

The national average, at 27 pupils per class, is among the worst in Europe.

The NEU said that 34 per cent of teachers had nominated a reduction in class size as their top priority for the next parliament.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: "Pupils are experiencing the inevitable result of several government policies which have conspired to put a squeeze on schools. The real-terms funding crisis has had catastrophic effects, including a direct impact on class size.

"Today’s analysis will ring true for every parent who has witnessed their school cutting teaching assistant posts, reducing subject choice, or organising fundraiser events and begging letters."