Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has criticised the “ridiculous” number of old Etonians in David Cameron’s inner circle of advisers.
Mr Gove, who went to a fee-paying school in Scotland, said such a “preposterous” concentration of individuals from the same privileged background at the top of Government did not exist in any other developed country.
“It doesn’t make me feel personally uncomfortable because I like each of the individuals concerned,” Mr Gove said in an interview with the Financial Times.
“But it is ridiculous. I don't know where you can find a similar situation in any other developed economy.”
Earlier this month, Mr Gove became the first Conservative education minister to send his children to a state secondary school.
He stressed that the number of former students from the £30,000 a-year Eton College at the top of Mr Cameron’s Government reflected the historic failings of the state system.
“I don’t blame any of the individuals concerned, that would be equally silly. But it’s a function of the fact that, as we pointed out a couple of years ago, more boys from Eton went to Oxford and Cambridge than boys eligible for free school meals,” Mr Gove said.
Other old Etonians advising Mr Cameron include policy unit head Jo Johnson, who is the brother of London Mayor Boris Johnson, and chief of staff Ed Llewellyn.
Labour said his comments showed the Conservatives are “out of touch” with the concerns of ordinary people in Britain.
Jon Ashworth, a shadow Cabinet Office minister, said: “It's up to David Cameron who he puts into top jobs, and the fact is that the Prime Minister has chosen to surround himself with people just like himself. He's leading a Government that's completely out of touch.”