UK 28 September 2011 Miliband: private schools will keep charitable status Labour leader takes the reverse position to his brother. Print HTML Here's a subject that we haven't heard much from Ed Miliband on before: private schools. In an interview with Channel 4 News tonight, the Labour leader will say that he would not take away private schools' charitable status [a £100m taxpayer subsidy] if elected. "It's very difficult to take away the charitable status for a whole host of complicated reasons. I don't think you can abolish public schools in a free society. Am I going to abolish public schools? No." What makes this politically notable is that during the Labour leadership election David Miliband pledged to end private schools' charitable status. In an article for the Guardian, he wrote: "Under the Tories, the poorest will end up paying the price of the mistakes of the richest. We should not be afraid of the mansion tax on £2m houses or extending the bankers' bonus tax, rather than charging the poorest with VAT rises. And the idea of taking money from the poorest children while continuing to subsidise private schools is just wrong." Here, then, is a rare example of a subject on which David leans to the left of Ed. › Back to the future George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe More Related articles Michelle Obama's powerful speech demolishes Donald Trump without even mentioning his name In defence of expertise: it’s time to take the heart out of “passionate” politics Why do the words “soup, swoop, loop de loop” come to mind every time I lift a spoon to my lips?