Jeremy Corbyn clashes with Theresa May over her flagship grammar schools plan

Mark Sands
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Corbyn is expected to be retained as leader by the Labour party later this month (Source: Getty)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has clashed with Theresa May over her plans to push for new grammar schools, increasing the pressure on her flagship reforms.

Earlier today London mayor Sadiq Khan called on May to drop to her first major policy as Prime Minister, which she has described as a key part of Britain becoming “the great meritocracy”.

And attacking the policy at Prime Minister's Questions earlier today, Corbyn pressed May to name experts who support her plans, arguing that “equality of opportunity is not segregating children at 11.”

Read More: Theresa May is right to back academic selection in schools

May responded by arguing the current system is “selection by house price” rather than by ability, and added that both the party leaders had attended grammar schools, accusing the Labour MP of seeking to “pull up the ladder behind [him]”.

“I believe in education right for every child,” May said. “Labour stifles opportunity and ambition.”

Read More: A truly meritocratic society would be an intrusive and cruel dystopia

However, the Labour leader responded: “It's not about pulling up ladders, it's about providing ladders to everyone”, and accused May of “heading backwards to failed segregation for the few, and second class education for the many”.

May faces a challenge in pushing through the plans thanks to her slim majority and concerns among her backbenchers, while Labour is broadly unified against the reforms.

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