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Cameron rounds on grammar rebels

David Cameron
David Cameron

DAVID CAMERON has rounded on rebels in his own party who have criticised his decision to abandon support for grammar schools.

Several Conservative backbenchers in the county have bitterly denounced the party’s policy U-turn and have been angered that the party has ditched its policy of building more grammars.

As leader, Michael Howard, the Folkestone and Hythe MP, said that under a future Conservative government, grammar schools would be allowed to "survive and thrive".

But that policy was dumped, with party education spokesman David Willetts saying selection did not help poorer pupils.

Now David Cameron has waded in and taken on internal party dissenters.

In an interview, he said supporting more grammar schools would be "an electoral albatross". He also warned pro-grammar rebels that they were handing Labour a propaganda tool.

"There is a kind of hopelessness about the demand to bring back grammars on the assumption that this country will only ever be able to offer a decent education to a select few," said Mr Cameron.

He went on to say: "National selection was abolished because it was deeply unpopular with parents, who didn't want their children to be divided into successes and failures at the age of 11."

The policy switch has led to serious recriminations among MPs, with many dismayed that the Conservative party has opted to abandon its support for what was regarded as a traditional policy.

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