Current Affairs

Ruth Kelly attacked for hypocrisy over choice of school

Tony Grew January 8, 2007
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Controversial Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has been heavily criticised by Labour MPs after it was revealed that she has sent one of her children to a private school.

The beleaguered cabinet member, who was Secretary of State for Education from 2004 until last year, has left fellow MPs fuming at yet another controversial decision.

Ms Kelly has been widely criticised for delaying the introduction of new regulations that will protect LGBT people from discrimination when accessing goods and services.

The rules were due to be in place this month, but Kelly, a devout Roman Catholic, delayed them until April after objections from religious groups.

This new controversy involves one of Ms Kelly’s four children. It is believed the child has learning difficulties and has been placed in a £15,000-a-year boarding school, which provides one-on-one teaching.

Labour have closed 117 state schools for children with learning disabilities since coming to power, a policy that Kelly defended during her 18 months in charge of education.

Last night Labour MPs reacting angrily to news first revealed in The Daily Mirror that Kelly was taking her child into the private sector.

MP Austin Mithcell told the paper, “We should expect Labour ministers to put their children through the state system. I deplore others transferring their children out to go private.”

Maverick MP Lynne Jones said the revelation of Kelly’s decision went against the principles of the Labour party.

“It makes me wonder about the sort of people who achieve high office under New Labour,” she told The Mirror

Ms Kelly is by no means the first Labour minister to decide that state provision was not adequate for their child.

Tony Blair’s sons went to the exclusive Roman Catholic Oratory School, while Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Diane Abbott have faced criticism for sending their children to private school.

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