New research shows that nearly two-thirds of the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnsons cabinet attended independent schools. This figure is twice that of Theresa Mays 2016 cabinet at 64%, while David Camerons 2015 cabinet was 50%. As of present, ministers in the PMs cabinet are nine times more prone to have attended a fee-paying school for all or part of their secondary education compared to the general population.
Among the ministers who went to state schools are the chancellor, Sajid Javid, the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, the home secretary, Priti Patel, and the education secretary, Gavin Williamson. Of those who attended fee-paying schools, the Brexit minister, Stephen Barclay, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, and work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, went to Cheltenham Ladies’ College. Initially, Johnson attended Eton College, while his predecessors attended Oxford, except for Gordon Brown.
Last month, a report released by a social mobility charity found that 29% of current MPs came from private schools. The current figure, however, is higher with 45% of Conservative party MPs and 15% of Labour party MPs being privately educated. Sir Peter Lampl, the chairman of the charity, expressed concern, stating that social mobility remains low, and efforts must be made to address the issue during Johnson’s tenure as prime minister.
On becoming the UK Prime Minister, Johnson swiftly restructured his cabinet and appointed the team packed with Vote Leave veterans and right-wing free marketers. Angela Rayner, the Shadow Education Secretary, emphasized that Johnson is running a government “of the few, by the few, for the few”. While Johnsons ethnically diverse cabinet could be perceived as representative of the country, the question arises about whether it represents the nation as a whole.