From Daily Mirror: Labour’s newest peer has defended her right to send her son to a selective private school – despite fighting grammar schools because they cause “segregation”.
Shami Chakrabarti insisted living a “charmed life” in a “nice big house” did not make her a hypocrite. The human rights lawyer and new shadow attorney general was confronted after The Sunday Times reported her son attends Dulwich College in south London.
The famous school, which educated author PG Wodehouse and Ukip rabble-rouser Nigel Farage, has an entry exam and fees that start at nearly £19,000 a year.
She told ITV’s Peston on Sunday: “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.”
Unprompted, she added: “I know you’re now going to follow up by asking me about newspaper reports about my own son’s education. All I will say is I live a charmed and privileged life, much more now than I ever did when I was a child. People on the left have often had charmed and privileged lives.”
Baroness Chakrabarti, who Jeremy Corbyn gave a seat in the House of Lords over the summer, was told she would be accused of hypocrisy over her son’s schooling.
The former Liberty director replied: “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 .”
Baroness Chakrabarti said she understood concerns about middle-class parents needing to raise standards by putting their children in the state system. She did not deny details about her son when they were put to her, but added: “I am not going to get into the personal stuff because there is a child in this world who didn’t choose to be Shami Chakrabarti’s child, so I’m afraid I’m going to leave it at that.”
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