Nick Clegg Tells LBC Radio Show He May Send His Son To Private School

'In It Together?'

Nick Clegg has reignited the "we're all in this together" debate by saying he would not rule out sending his son to private school.

Speaking on his weekly LBC Radio show on Thursday morning, the deputy prime minister said "political reasons" would never determine his choice of education.

Clegg, who was educated at Westminster School, a private school directly opposite the Houses of Parliament, said the fight for places in good London state schools would be a factor in his decision.

Clegg and his wife, lawyer Miriam Gonzalez

He said: "If we can and it works out to send him to a good state we would do.

"But like all parents living in London, there's huge competition for places and we don't yet know where and exactly at what school.

"I never have sought to impose a decision on my wife as well as my son for political reasons."

Last year the Lib-Dem leader said in a speech to the Sutton Trust: "Education is critical to our hopes of a fairer society.

"Right now there is a great rift in our education system between our best schools, most of which are private, and the schools ordinary families rely on.

"That is corrosive for our society and damaging to our economy."

Two months later, a senior advisor to Ed Miliband said politicians who send their children to private school are "morally bankrupt".

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 they expect the public to use.

Michael Pyke of the Campaign for State Education (CASE) explained the main benefits of a private education are the social networks that are available, something which Clegg would already have access to as deputy PM.

He told the Huffington Post UK: "I would not expect there would be anything to gain from sending his son to private school.

"In fact I think it is a shame that he would deprive a state school of the benefits that he himself could bring.

"Someone of his standing would be an enormous asset to a state school."

Clegg said during the phone in he did not want his children to become a "political football".

He said: "I am a father before I am a politician.

"I want my child to have the best possible education. It's the most fundamental instinct anyone has and I have that raging through my veins as much as any father.

"I am not going to make a political issue for my child's education. I just want the best for my child."


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