Shami Chakrabarti defends sending son to £18,000 private school after criticising selective education

Shaun Connolly
Sunday 09 October 2016 12:51 BST
Shami Chakrabarti defends sending son to private school

Shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti has defended her decision to send her son to a private school despite criticising grammar schools because they enforce "segregation".

Baroness Chakrabarti, the former head of civil rights organisation Liberty, said she "absolutely" supported Labour's opposition to Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to open new grammar schools.

"I have real concerns about grammar schools. In my lifetime, I have met too many people, including incredibly bright, successful people, who carry that scar of failing the 11-plus, and that segregation in schooling," she told ITV's Peston on Sunday.

When it was put to her she could be branded a hypocrite because of her stance, the Labour peer said: "I live a charmed and privileged life, much more now than I ever did when I was a child, but people on the left have often had charmed and privileged lives.

"I live in a nice big house, and eat nice food, and my neighbours are homeless, and go to food banks. Does that make me a hypocrite, or does it make me someone who is trying to do best, not just for my own family, but for other people's families too?

"And this thing about selection - if you've got money you will always be all right. If you don't have money in this country you are increasingly not all right, and that is why I have joined the Labour Party."

When it was suggested that children from middle class homes attending state schools helps raise standards, she said: "I understand that, and I am not going to get into the personal stuff because there is a child in this world who did not choose to be Shami Chakrabarti's child, so I'm afraid I'm going to leave it at that."

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