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'They are engines of inequality' - MP defends Labour plan to scrap private schools

PUBLISHED: 13:52 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:43 31 October 2019

Clive Lewis, Norwich South MP, on the BBC's Politics Live programme on Thursday, October 31. Picture: BBC Politics

Clive Lewis, Norwich South MP, on the BBC's Politics Live programme on Thursday, October 31. Picture: BBC Politics

BBC Politics

Labour MP Clive Lewis has defended his party's policy to abolish private education in England during a television appearance.

The Norwich South MP told the BBC's Politics Live programme that private schools were "engines of inequality" and that he supported Labour's policy, announced at its September conference, to do away with them.

Mr Lewis's comments came as Labour officially launched its election campaign, ahead of the vote on December 12.

In its plans for education, the party has pledged to strip private schools of their charitable status and redistribute their property and wealth.

As of January this year 5,918 pupils in Norfolk - around 5pc of the total - were being educated in 32 private schools, according to Department for Education data.

Mr Lewis said Labour had policies in place "to take away the competitive advantage that private schools have".

"I would like to see them abolished and I hope that policy comes out, but how they are abolished is the key thing," he said.

"The intention behind the policy is to make sure we have a National Education Service of the highest standard in this country."

Mr Lewis was joined on Politics Live on Thursday, October 31 by Conservative East of England MEP and Essex MP Vicky Ford.

READ MORE: 'Stop bashing private schools', says independent school headteacher

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