Moves to make employers ask job candidates if they went to fee-paying schools have led to threats from the provost of Eton College to quit the Tory party whip in the Lords.
Ex-Conservative Cabinet minister Lord Waldegrave of North Hill, the crown-appointed provost of Prime Minister David Cameron's old school, is unhappy at the plans which form part of the Government's "life chances" agenda.
"Fundamentally, I think it quite wrong to punish children for decisions taken by their parents,and to run the risk of choosing crucial public service jobs not on the basis of merit but of social engineering. The ablest candidates come from all possible backgrounds," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"I have told the chief whip in the Lords that I do not see how I could continue to accept the whip if I believed that the Government was actively seeking to damage the charitable school of which I am a trustee, and the many other schools like it which are meeting the justifiable demands of the Charity Commission to help the wider community," Lord Waldegrave said.
Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock called for recruiters should ask job applicants if they went to private school in an attempt to stop the poor missing due to social discrimination.