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A-level results 2015: Labour leader hopeful Jeremy Corbyn received 2 E-grades in his exams. How did other politicians fare?

2014 statistics revealed how 59 per cent of the 2010 Cabinet were Oxbridge educated - but how did other well-known politicians fare with their A-levels?

Emily Townsend
Thursday 13 August 2015 21:09
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Amid this summer’s ‘Corbynmania’ – coupled with record A-level result pass rates – fans might be interested to know Labour leader frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn left school with just two A-levels – both at E-grades.

Having made the admission in an interview with The Guardian earlier this year, the politician remembered how former Prime Minister John Major joked that Corbyn performed better than him – because he got O-levels.

Statistics in late 2014 revealed how 59 per cent of the 2010 Cabinet were Oxbridge educated. But how did other well-known politicians fare with their A-levels?

Chancellor George Osborne says he achieved a Maths A-Level – though the rest of his results are unclear – and went on to achieve a 2:1 in Modern History from Magdalen College, Oxford.

Osborne’s educational background, however, came under scrutiny last year after he appeared to dodge a simple multiplication question posed to him by a seven-year-old during a Sky News TV interview:

David Cameron received three A-grades in History, History of Art, and Economics with Politics. He pursued his passion for the latter subject and read Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) at Brasenose College, Oxford.

Labour leadership candidates Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham and Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall seem to have achieved good enough A-levels to attend Cambridge, with Burnham reading English at Fitzwilliam, and Kendall achieving a First in History from Queen’s.

Another Labour leadership candidate, Yvette Cooper, achieved a First-class honours degree in PPE at Balliol College, Oxford, after achieving good A-Levels. She completed further study at Harvard University and completed an MSc at the London School of Economics.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband picked up four A-levels in Maths (A), English (A), Further Mathematics (B), and Physics (B). He went on to study Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

David Miliband fared worse than his brother when it came to his results, receiving three Bs and a D. The D was in Physics, a subject that – as he told The Telegraph shortly after he lost the Labour leadership election to his brother back in 2010 – was “indeterminably difficult.”

Tony Blair took a gap year after receiving three “good” A-levels from Fettes College in Edinburgh. He went on to study Law at St. John’s College, Oxford.

Finally, Mayor of London Boris Johnson excelled in English and Classics, winning the prestigious Newcastle Prize at Eton. His academic success landed him a place at Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied Classics.

Twitter: @emily_townsend1

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