The Manchester school dubbed the 'new Eton' with two former pupils in Keir Starmer's Labour cabinet

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Sir Keir Starmer’s new Labour cabinet has shined a light on one Manchester school - with two former pupils sitting at the new Prime Minister’s top table.

New leader of the House of Commons Lucy Powell, the MP for Manchester Central, and Wigan MP Lisa Nancy, named secretary of state for culture, media and sport, both attended Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury. And many commentators have been quick to point out it’s a world away from the Eton dominance of previous Conservative administrations.

The secondary school also currently counts Powell as a parent. When the Parrs Wood representation in the cabinet was pointed out, she posted on X: “Yes two of us in the Cabinet went to the same comprehensive school in Manchester - pretty amazing really. I’m currently a parent there too!”

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Parrs Wood High SchoolParrs Wood High School
Parrs Wood High School | Google Street View

Former teacher Steve Waters posted: “You never know who the pupils in front of you will be. I was one of Lisa Nandy’s and Lucy Powell’s teachers at state school, Parrs Wood High School, Manchester. I’m delighted at their success in this Labour government.” Comedian Jason Manford also posted about the link with reference to an Absolute Radio feature. He said: “Ha great. Hit Me With Your Best Fact right there. Go on Parrs Wood!” The BBC’s ecomonics editor Faisal Islam was among many to dub Parrs Wood ‘the new Eton’ and even had a family link. He said: “In the new Cabinet… Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury, Manchester, appears to be Labour’s equivalent of Eton… it was threatened with closure when my sister was there in the 80s… and then rebuilding was only funded by selling the playing fields to a ten pin bowling alley.”

There is strong Greater Manchester representation in the new Labour cabinet with Ashton MP Angela Rayner Deputy Prime Minister and Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds named secretary of state for business and trade.

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