Hattersley hits at private schools

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Indy Politics

Political Correspondent

Roy Hattersley, the former deputy Labour leader, last night stepped up his campaign against his party's new education policy with a rousing call for the abolition of private schools.

In his new role as traditionalist firebrand, Mr Hattersley, speaking for the first time at the old left's key fixture, the Tribune Rally, issued a rallying call to his "comrades". He said: "I want you to know that - with 18 months in politics ahead of me - I haven't learnt a thing.

"I am still opposed to the public schools and private education, and I guess I will die - although not for a year or two - feeling exactly the same way." He recalled he was once rebuked by Tony Crosland in the Seventies for pledging to reduce and then abolish fee- paying education.

On the eve of today's education debate, he renewed his attack on the party's acceptance of "ivy-clad" foundation schools and community schools which the middle-classes would try to avoid.

"There is no such thing as different but equal. I desperately regret that we have invented these two categories - it is impossible to have two categories without one assuming a superiority."