Labour’s John McDonnell accused of covering up privileged past at top private school that now charges £36,000 a year


LABOUR’S John McDonnell has been accused of covering-up his privileged past at a top private school that now costs £36,000 per pupil a year.

The die-hard socialist, who has publicly called for private schools to be abolished, attended posh St Joseph’s College in Ipswich in the late 1960s.

 John McDonnell as a pupil at St Joseph's College in the 60s

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John McDonnell as a pupil at St Joseph’s College in the 60s
 St Joseph's College now - where parents pay £36,000 a year

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St Joseph’s College now – where parents pay £36,000 a year

He even appeared in the school’s 2017 prospectus as an alumni, alongside the caption, “Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2015”.

Yet he makes no mention of his links to the school in speeches or biographical entries and is listed only as attending Great Yarmouth Grammar School.

According to Mail Online, pupils who attended the posh school are locally known as Holy Joes.

Alumini are also referred to as Old Birkfeldians – after Birkfeld House, a mansion built for a Hanoverian prince, upon which the school was set-up in 1937.

Former pupils include earls, ambassadors and captains of history.

But the MP refers to the school as “De La Salle College”, a name used for many schools around the UK, including a comprehensive in Basildon, Essex.

 The shadow Chancellor has kept his education past quiet

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The shadow Chancellor has kept his education past quiet

And at the 2015 Labour conference, McDonnell told delegates that he’d “worked hard” but found the grammar school system “appalling”.

A year later, he said of grammar schools: “McDonnell said: “I resented leaving friends behind. At the age of 11, large numbers of people were classified as failures even though they were extremely bright and talented.

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“That was why I was so in favour of a comprehensive education and opportunities for everybody.”

‘PRIEST TRAINING’

He spoke about studying for A-levels at the grammar school, but left aged 17 because he was “too busy doing other things”.

Sun Online was the first to report that McDonnell had attended St Joseph’s “prep school”.

A Labour spokesman said at the time: “John attended the school for two years on a church grant at the start of his training to become a Catholic priest. However, John decided against the priesthood and left the school forthwith.”

However, a conservative candidate in his Hayes and Harlington seat then blasted him as a “stinking hypocrite.”

Greg Smith said: “Yet again John McDonnell’s past is coming back to haunt him – whatever next?

“Why can he never just be open and honest about his background?

“John McDonnell is trying to pull the ladder up for kids today despite his own privileged education.”

It comes after McDonnell last week admitted that everyone will have to pay more tax under Labour.

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Despite Labour figures insisting that only the top five per cent of earners will pay more, he was forced to admit that many of the party’s policies will affect the entire population.


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