More than half the Tory cabinet went to private school
Tories' private school past
Channel 4's Who Knows Who adds up how many of the shadow cabinet went to independent schools.
Gordon Brown sparked some class war last month by claiming Conservative strategy was “dreamt up on the playing fields of Eton”.
The prime minister has since claimed the remark was just “a joke”, but how many members of the shadow cabinet did go to the famous independent school, or other fee-paying institutions?
Research shows that three current members of the Tory front bench went to Eton: leader David Cameron, shadow leader of the Commons Sir George Young, and chairman of the policy review Oliver Letwin.
Other well-known independent schools are represented in the shadow cabinet too.
Shadow chancellor George Osborne went to St Paul’s School, shadow cabinet office minister Francis Maude went to Abingdon School, Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt went to Charterhouse, and shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve went to Westminster School.
In total 18 of the 31 members of the shadow cabinet went to independent schools, for these purposes also known as public or private schools.
A further six went to non-fee paying selective schools, otherwise known as grammar schools, a favourite topic of Tory debate.
In total, five of the shadow cabinet went to state schools, with a further three going to state Catholic schools in Scotland.
Interestingly, three of the shadow cabinet who did go to state schools, shadow foreign secretary William Hague, shadow climate secretary Greg Clark and Europe minister Mark Francois have included the name “comprehensive” in the title of their former schools on the Conservatives’ website profile pages, even though the schools never included the word in their official names.
In terms of where the shadow cabinet went after school, 12 went to Oxford, while seven went to Cambridge. Magdalen College proved to be the most popular Oxford destination, with Osborne, Hague, Clark, Grieve and Hunt all studying there.
Opposition chief whip Patrick McLoughlin appears to be the only member of the Tory front bench not to have gone to university.
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Who are we talking about?
Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal
Conservative MP for North West Hampshire.Connections: 8 (See map)
Minister for Universities and Science
Conservative MP for Havant.Connections: 6 (See map)
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Conservative MP for Tatton. George Osborne became Chancellor of the Exchequer in May 2010.Connections: 41 (See map)
Magdalen college is one of the largest and richest of the colleges at Oxford University.Connections: 15 (See map)