Gove slams 'old school ties'
Michael Gove has hit out dominance of British society by wealthy individuals from private school backgrounds.
In a robust speech today, the Education Secretary name checked fellow Cabinet members, well-known actors and popular comedians and musicians.
He said: "It is remarkable how many of the positions of wealth, influence, celebrity and power in our society are held by individuals who were privately educated.
"Around the Cabinet table – a majority – including myself – were privately educated. Around the Shadow Cabinet table the Deputy Leader, the Shadow Chancellor, the Shadow Business Secretary, the Shadow Olympics Secretary, the Shadow Welsh Secretary and the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development were all educated at independent schools."
He also pointed to "old school ties" in the UK television and music industries.
He said: “Hugh Laurie, Dominic West, Damian Lewis, Tom Hiddleston and Eddie Redmayne – all old Etonians."
He cited comedians Armando Iannucci, David Baddiel, Michael McIntyre, Jack Whitehall, Miles Jupp, Armstrong from Armstrong and Miller and Mitchell from Mitchell and Webb as being privately educated, along with Chris Martin of Coldplay and Tom Chaplin of Keane.
The Education Secretary also name checked newspaper editors who were privately-educated.
"The sheer scale, the breadth and the depth, of private school dominance of our society points to a deep problem in our country - one we all acknowledge but have still failed to tackle with anything like the radicalism required," he said.
Separately, the Education Secretary has demanded new safeguards to protect girls in children's homes, after nine men were handed heavy jail sentences for their part in a child sex-grooming network in Rochdale.
Mr Gove said the conviction raised serious concerns and has ordered Sue Berelowitz, the deputy children’s commissioner for England, to produce recommendations within four weeks on how to protect girls in residential care from being preyed on for sexual exploitation.