David Cameron complains to press regulator over reports he's sending son to private school

Downing Street officials contacted Ipso

Jon Stone
Monday 01 February 2016 11:17
David Cameron
David Cameron

Downing Street has complained to the press regulator about news articles reporting that David Cameron might send his son to a private school.

A complaint was made to the Independent Press Standards Organisation by officials at Number 10 following a flurry of media interest in the politically-charged decision.

A report that Mr Cameron might send his nine-year-old son Elwen to Colet Court, widely regarded as a “feeder school” to Eton, originally appeared in the Mail on Sunday newspaper this weekend.

The paper reported that the £18,000 a year school was being eyed by the Prime Minister despite previous comments that spending a lot of money on private schools was “crazy”.

The news story was subsequently followed up by a variety of news outlets, including the Independent.

Downing Street officials said it was concerned about further coverage of the issue and the privacy implications for the PM's children.

Ipso’s code of conduct says editors must not use the fame or position of a parent as justification for publishing details of a child’s private life.

Mr Cameron has however previously publicly discussed his school choice, including his daughter’s admission to a high-ranking state school.

Other politicians’ choices of school for their parents have been seen as political statements and acts of significance.

It was widely reported earlier this year that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had a disagreement with his ex-wife about whether to send their son to a local selective grammar school.

Mr Corbyn is against selective education and is said to have been against using the grammar school on principle.

The pair later separated, though Mr Corbyn has declined to confirm whether this was the main reason for their separation.

Conversely, Labour MP Diane Abbott was subject to press, public, and party criticism after she decided to send her child to a private school – despite herself describing the decision as “indefensible” and “intellectually incoherent”.

Ipso told the Independent its policy on disclosure and confidentiality meant that it does not comment on whether individuals have made complaints.

The Independent was unable to obtain comment from Downing Street on this story.

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