A Labour MP has said ‘the better educated people’ of Britain were the ones who voted Remain in the EU referendum.
Barry Sheerman (pictured above), who holds a seat for the party in Huddersfield, told the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme: ‘You can actually see the pattern, nearly all the university towns voted remain.’
But Conservative MP for Pudsey, Stuart Andrew, who was also taking part in the debate, described the remarks as ‘snobbery’.
The pair were discussing a letter sent to universities by Tory MP Chris Heaton-Harris asking for the names of professors teaching courses on Brexit.
Mr Sheerman accused Mr Heaton-Harris of practising ‘McCarthyite sort of tactics’.
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But Mr Andrew said his fellow Tory MP was ‘genuinely trying to find out was was being discussed in our universities’.
Mr Sheerman said: ‘This man who went to Wolverhampton Polytechnic, who does he think he is trying to frighten my university in Huddersfield?
‘The truth is that when you look at who voted to remain, most of them were the better educated people in our country.’
Mr Andrew responded: ‘I am astounded by this snobbery.’
But Peter Kellner, former president of polling firm YouGov, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: ‘I would not use Barry Sheerman’s choice of words but the facts are broadly on his side
‘Overall, people who left school at 15 or 16 voted around two to one for Brexit. Graduates voted two to one to remain in the EU.
‘So yes, there is quite a clear educational gradient in the way people voted in last year’s referendum.’