Question Time: Andy Burnham receives applause from audience
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A Question Time audience member has fumed at the dominance of privately educated politicians during a debate about private schools during the programme in Aberystwyth. The debate was prompted by the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s vow to end the charitable status of private schools.
The man raged that given the many political errors of recent years that private schools should be abolished altogether.
He said: “Not all, but most of our recent Prime Ministers and most of the cabinet have all had private education.
“When we consider the many disasters they’ve visited on us, is that not a better excuse to close the damn things down.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attended the £45,936-a-year Winchester College where he was head boy after attending Stroud School a prep school.
Other privately educated members of the cabinet include Chancellor Jeremy Hunt (Charterhouse School in Surrey), Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (Colfe’s School in Greenwich, south-east London), and Home Secretary Suella Braverman (Heathfield School in Pinner, north-west London).
Liz Truss was a political exception as she was the first Prime Minister to attend a Comprehensive School throughout her secondary education at Roundhay School in Leeds.
Boris Johnson attended Ashdown House prep school from 1975 to 1977 before gaining a scholarship to study at the famous Eton College.
Theresa May initially attended a state primary school Heythrop Primary School followed by a spell at a private Catholic school St. Juliana’s Convent School for Girls before winning a place at a Grammar School.
David Cameron attended the private Heatherdown School before going on to attend Eton College.
According to a study compiled by the Sutton Trust and Social mobility commission, following the 2019 general election around 44 percent of politicians were privately educated.
This included 57 percent of members of the House of Lords, but only 29 percent of MPs. However, this compared to seven percent of the population as a whole.
Seventeen percent of MPs had attended a Grammar School and 52 percent a Comprehensive School.
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Seventy percent of Labour MPs attended Comprehensives, compared to 41 percent of Conservatives.
It comes after Sir Keir Starmer accused Rishi Sunak of “trickle-down education” calling for an end to the “scandal” of tax breaks to private schools.
Sir Keir quoted Michael Gove who had made a similar argument during the 2017 general election calling the tax breaks received by private schools as a “burning injustice”.
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