Shami Chakrabarti defends sending son to £18,000 private school while criticising selective education

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti appears on Peston on Sunday. Credit: Peston on Sunday

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti has responded to critics who have branded her hypocritical by sending her son to an £18,000 per year private school at the same time as criticizing the Government's grammar school plan.

Speaking about grammar schools the shadow attorney general said: "I have real concerns about grammar schools.

"I have met too many people in my life of my age and older who were deeply scared by the 11-plus exam and by that kind of segregation."

Yet when questioned about the segregation of sending her son to the prestigious Dulwich College, Ms Chakrabarti said she lives a "charmed and privileged life" and was simply "trying to do the best" for her family.

"If you have money in this country you will always be alright", Ms Chakrabarti said, adding that she had joined the Labour Party to ensure that society was more equal.

When it was suggested that sending children from middle class homes to state schools helps raise standards, Ms Chakrabarti responded that she "understood" this argument but would not "get into the personal stuff because there is a child in this world who did not chose to be Shami Chakrabarti's child".

The former head of civil rights organisation Liberty was also questioned on whether her report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was compromised by her membership of the party, and her appointment to Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet just weeks after its publication.

The shadow attorney general claimed that instead her membership of the party meant that she would have more sway and be able to fix any issues if she were part of the party and that this membership also made her want to "do the best for the party".

Ms Chakrabarti said that anti-Semitism was a "serious issue in the country at large".

Questioned about why her controversial report made no mention of Ken Livingston, Ms Chakrabarti said that she could not comment on an individual facing discipline as this could compromise the outcome.