Lord Adonis: MPs Who Send Their Kids To Private School Are 'Politically Bankrupt'


Politicians who send their children to private schools should not be allowed to have any say over Britain's education system, says a senior adviser to Ed Miliband.

Lord Adonis, who was Tony Blair's education guru before becoming transport secretary under Gordon Brown said that ministers need to "live and breathe" the public services that they expect the public to use.

In an interview with parliament's The House magazine, the state-educated Lord Adonis who spent much of his youth in a children's home, said it was "politically bankrupt" for ministers to tinker with the school system if they were not personally invested.

“I think it is just outrageous. They don’t have to go into politics, they can go into other careers," he said.

"It’s not a left or right thing. It really matters because too much of failed education policy since the war has been the result of ideological ministers who don’t use the institutions that they expect the general public to use and that has been true of the Labour side as well as well as the Tories."

Adonis also praised Blair for being the first prime minister to send his children to state secondary schools.

He added: “You cannot do these jobs well, indeed I don’t think you can do them at all in any self-respecting way, unless you live and breathe the public services that you expect the public to use.”

Several high profile Labour figures, including Ruth Kelly and Diane Abbott, have been eviscerated by the press in the past for sending their children to private schools while advocating comprehensive education.

Deputy leader Harriet Harman was also criticised for sending her son to a selective grammar school.

While no doubt aware that his Old Etonian background does not play well with the public, David Cameron has said his children will attend state secondary school.

Although the prime minister did admit to being "terrified" of being able to find a good state school near his central London Downing Street home.

George Osborne has been criticised for sending his children to a private school. While Nick Clegg, who has young sons, has previously said he would not let his children be "hostage to a game of political football" when it came to where they went to school.

Ed Miliband has two sons who are currently too young to be at school.

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