Almost half of new Cabinet studied at Oxford or Cambridge

The percentage privately educated is down slightly on Boris Johnson’s previous cabinets.

Michael Gove, who has been appointed Housing Secretary, is among the Cabinet members to have attended Oxford or Cambridge Universities (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Michael Gove, who has been appointed Housing Secretary, is among the Cabinet members to have attended Oxford or Cambridge Universities (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Almost half of Boris Johnson’s new Cabinet went to Oxford or Cambridge universities and 60% attended a private school, a social mobility charity has said.

The percentage privately educated is down slightly on the Prime Minister’s previous cabinets, data from the Sutton Trust suggested.

The figure was 64% in his first Cabinet in 2019, and 65% in a 2020 reshuffle, the charity said.

In its analysis of the educational background of the new Cabinet announced on Wednesday, the trust said the 2021 percentage for private education compares to 29% when it comes to all MPs in the House of Commons.

The Sutton Trust said there has been a slight increase in the proportion of the new Cabinet educated at comprehensives, from 27% last year to a third now.

While 46% of those in the latest Cabinet studied at Oxford or Cambridge, the figure compares with 27% of all Conservative MPs, 18% of Labour MPs and 24% of all MPs.

New Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Housing Secretary Michael Gove and Chancellor Rishi Sunak all attended Oxford University.

The trust said just over a quarter of Cabinet ministers attended both independent schools and Oxbridge.

The trust said its analysis includes 30 ministers and assumes Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg and Attorney General Suella Braverman will attend Cabinet.

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