Starmer distances himself from Thornberry comments on class sizes under Labour government

Sir Keir Starmer has distanced himself from Emily Thornberry's suggestion that Labour’s plan to add VAT to private school fees would lead to larger class sizes in the state sector.

The shadow attorney general said on Sunday, 9 June, that “it would be fine if we have to, in the short term, have larger classes”, amid concerns the policy could force pupils to leave private schools.

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said the suggestion “just wasn’t right”.

“We’ve had the analysis by the IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies) on this, which says that there’ll be a negligible impact. So we’re very confident about that," the Labour leader added.