Yesterday, a YouGov survey, published by The Times, found that the public would rather have an MP that has shoplifted in the past than an “Old Etonian”. This revelation must be uncomfortable reading for the 19 Tory MPs who attended the elite school.

The survey showed that only 5% of individuals chose shoplifting as an unacceptable admission and 13% chose having taken heroin or cocaine in the past. In contrast, 38% of those asked thought that being an “Old Etonian” was an objectionable attribute.

I know, from speaking with my constituents, many feel that too many in the government have had no real life experience and have lost touch with the real world -; especially as a result of policy like the bedroom tax.

This feeling of frustration is unsurprising seeing as 54 per cent of Conservative MPs attended fee paying schools compared with just seven per cent of the school population.

There has clearly been a breakdown between the small closed circle which runs British society and the broad mass of ordinary people.

Indeed the proportion of Members of Parliament who attended independent schools has increased under the Tory Government – reversing the downward trend which was seen previously.

It is a problem at every level of society; to better represent our population we need more candidates who hold varied work experience and more individuals from more diverse backgrounds to change the way parliament works.

Labour is completely dedicated to creating a party which better represents our society.

I continue to promote fairness and equality, running Labour’s Future Candidates Programme. This programme is designed to increase the diversity of candidates whilst recognising the barriers many individuals face, we therefore provide a huge amount of support with training and mentoring to overcome financial and cultural barriers.

We are looking for people from all kinds of backgrounds, not the usual kind of suspects who come from a political professional background.

Help Labour work towards a real change and to create a more representative Government.

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