Shadow Ministers’ Elite Education Cost A Packet

Given Sir Keir spent most of PMQs trying to hammer the government over tax benefits for private schools – “trickle-down education” is apparently the soundbite of the day – Guido thought it was worth taking a look at those sitting on Starmer’s own frontbench. After all, the parents of 600,000 kids struggling to pay fees might be entitled to think it is some cheek to put VAT on the schools they themselves attended…

  • Keir Starmer attended Reigate Grammar School, which, as Guido reported, became a fee-paying independent school whilst he was studying there. When Keir joined in 1974, the school had been a state grammar for 30 years. In 1976, however, it went private – and according to their website of ‘notable Reigatians’ Starmer remained a student there until 1981. Today his old school charges £20,000 a year.
  • Party Chair Anneliese Dodds attended Robert Gordon’s College. The independent Aberdeen school currently charges fees of almost £14,000 a year…
  • Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey went to Guy Fawkes’ alma mater, St Peter’s School in York. St Peter’s School is an independent school where fees currently cost almost £20,000 a year…
  • Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Louise Haigh was a student at Sheffield High School. Fees are currently almost £15,000 a year…·
  • Shadow Leader of Commons Thangam Debbonaire went to two independent schools – Bradford Girls’ Grammar School and Chetham’s School of Music. Bradford Girls Grammar School didn’t end its fee-paying status until 2011…

The backbenches are also packed with those more than familiar with private education: John McDonnell skirts over his days at St Joseph’s College. Jeremy Corbyn, the independent Member for Islington North tries to forget he went to a prep school until he was 11. Diane Abbott, Emily Thornberry and Shami Chakrabarti in the Lords all sent their children to independent schools. Still, “trickle-down education” is a nice headline…

mdi-timer 30 November 2022 @ 16:00 30 Nov 2022 @ 16:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Don’t Mention Anneliese Dodds’ Corporate Gig on Social Media….

It looks like Anneliese Dodds didn’t get Sir Keir’s memo on the mourning period. Despite the moratorium on Labour MPs doing non-royal media appearances until after the funeral, Dodds is currently entertaining clients of media monitoring company DeHavilland in an hour-long Zoom conversation. At the time of going to pixel, the event is still in full swing, and is scheduled to finish at 10.30. In Dodds’ defence, it was first advertised two weeks ago…

Since then, world events have changed somewhat – something Dodds apparently acknowledged by saying it’s “a difficult time in politics“… and that’s it. Guido’s mole reports DeHavilland’s Arran Russell, the host, also asked the virtual attendees explicitly not to mention the event on social media given the bad optics. We’ll just keep this between us…

UPDATE: Dodds has just wrapped up the event:

“I should just say, I’m rather disappointed… at the beginning of this session [the host] asked people not to particularly publicise this event. You know, I kind of agreed with that because I think this is a time of mourning. It’s not because I’m not happy and wanting to have these discussions with businesses, quite the opposite. Which is why I wanted to continue… clearly someone else had a different view, I’ve just been informed…”

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Dodds Claims Labour Has Always Been “Very Clear” on Cost of Living Policies

The bank holiday weekend is over and it’s back to business as usual in SW1, with Labour Party Chair Anneliese Dodds appearing on Sky News this morning claiming Labour has been “very clear” on its policy proposals for the energy crisis – just minutes after Labour’s own Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham had appeared on the same show to insist the party hasn’t gone far enough, and should be pushing for renationalisation. Happy Tuesday morning.

Speaking to Kay Burley, Dodds said:

While I agree with Andy on very many things, I think actually the real contrast is between Labour’s fully-costed plans to stop people having to pay those enormous projected increases this autumn and winter… of course every party changes their manifestos over time, I’ve just been talking about the immediate measures right now Labour would take… Labour’s been very clear in saying we are pragmatic about the role of public ownership within energy…”

A fully-costed plan that may well end up making furlough spending look like pocket change. It looks like Dodds is also suffering from a serious bout of selective amnesia over Starmer’s leadership pledges…

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Dodds: “I Don’t Agree” that Women Can be Born with Penises
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Dodds: Labour’s Big Transformative Idea Will Be to “Buy and Sell More in Our Country”
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Dodds Stumped by Lee Anderson: “Can She Confirm How Many Labour MPs have Ended Up in the Nick in the Last 10 Years?”

Dodds didn’t seem to have an answer, though Lee provided a helpful visual clue…

mdi-timer 1 December 2021 @ 10:00 1 Dec 2021 @ 10:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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