Theresa May launched a personal attack on Jeremy Corbyn’s family today after the Labour leader accused the prime minister of breaking a Conservative manifesto pledge on education spending.
Speaking during prime minister’s questions, Corbyn criticised May for spending £320m on a “grammar schools vanity project” while at the same time proposing spending cuts for schools of 7% beyond 2020.
The Labour leader said the planned cuts to school funding equated to “the loss of two teachers across all primary schools and six teachers across all secondary schools”.
He added: “The manifesto on which she fought the last election promised under a future Conservative government the amount of money following your child into school will be protected”.
Conservative 2015 manifesto:
May said the funding proposals were a consultation and not the final figures. “We have protected the schools budget,” she said and defended her plans for new grammar schools.
And the prime minister then attacked Corbyn, and Labour shadow cabinet ministers Diane Abbott and Baroness Chakrabarti for where they sent their children to school.
“I say to the Right Honourable Gentleman, his shadow home secretary sent her child to a private school, his shadow attorney general sent her child to a private school, he sent his child to a grammar school, he went to a grammar school himself. Typical Labour - take the advantage and pull up the ladder behind them.”
Abbott and Baroness Chakrabarti have both been criticised for sending their children to private schools.
However Corbyn and his former wife separated in 1999 after a disagreement over whether their son should be sent to a grammar school or a comprehensive. The then backbench MP did not want his son to go to a selective school.
Corbyn told May today he wanted a “staircase for all, not a ladder for a few” when it came to education.