David Cameron does a U-turn to send daughter to £21k private school

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: David Cameron does a U-turn over education and sends his daughter to a £21,000-a-year private school

When David Cameron was trying to enter Downing Street, he made it clear that he planned to shun the expensive education he had himself benefited from when it came to his own children.

The Old Etonian, who was then leader of the Opposition, declared: ‘I’d like my children to go to state school. I think it’s crazy that we should have to pay lots of money for private schools. We all pay our taxes.’ 

In case voters had failed to get the message, he said in a newspaper interview in 2009: ‘You should have really good state schools available for all.’

His comments made a big impression as he tried to prove that he was a new type of Tory.

I can disclose that David and Samantha Cameron's younger daughter, Florence, 11, has started at a London private school, whose fees are what he might have once called crazy: more than £21,000 a year. (Above: The Camerons  - left to right, David, Nancy, Arthur Elwen, Florence and Samantha - outside 10 Downing St in 2016)

I can disclose that David and Samantha Cameron’s younger daughter, Florence, 11, has started at a London private school, whose fees are what he might have once called crazy: more than £21,000 a year. (Above: The Camerons  – left to right, David, Nancy, Arthur Elwen, Florence and Samantha – outside 10 Downing St in 2016)

Florence, above in 2016, is following in the footsteps of her brother, Elwen, 15, who started attending a private secondary school after Cameron quit No 10 having lost the Brexit referendum that year

Florence, above in 2016, is following in the footsteps of her brother, Elwen, 15, who started attending a private secondary school after Cameron quit No 10 having lost the Brexit referendum that year

After he won the keys to No 10 the following year, the prime minister did as he had pledged by letting it be known that his elder daughter, Nancy, now 17, would attend a state comprehensive in Westminster.

Now out of office, however, it’s a very different story. 

I can disclose that David and Samantha Cameron’s younger daughter, Florence, 11, has started at a London private school, whose fees are what he might have once called crazy: more than £21,000 a year.

That compares with £7,100 spent on each state secondary school pupil in the capital. 

The former PM was reported to have been paid a whopping £7.2 million in salary and shares during the two and a half years he worked part-time for Greensill Capital, the controversial finance company that went bust last year

The former PM was reported to have been paid a whopping £7.2 million in salary and shares during the two and a half years he worked part-time for Greensill Capital, the controversial finance company that went bust last year

The gap between private school fees and state school spending per pupil has more than doubled in England over the past decade, with private fees now more than 90 per cent higher.

Florence is following in the footsteps of her brother, Elwen, 15, who started attending a private secondary school after Cameron quit No 10 having lost the Brexit referendum in 2016.

The fees at Elwen’s school are almost £27,000 a year, which means the Camerons are paying an annual total of £48,000 on fees. 

The average British salary is about £26,000 before tax.

But the Camerons will have no trouble finding the cash. 

The former PM was reported to have been paid a whopping £7.2 million in salary and shares during the two and a half years he worked part-time for Greensill Capital, the controversial finance company that went bust last year.

 
Salman Rushdie, 74, has revealed he refuses to eat until he's finished work, even if that takes all day

Salman Rushdie, 74, has revealed he refuses to eat until he’s finished work, even if that takes all day

Booker Prize-winner Sir Salman Rushdie has clearly lost none of his hunger for success. 

The Satanic Verses author, 74, has revealed he refuses to eat until he’s finished work, even if that takes all day. 

‘You should work hungry,’ he claims. 

‘If I’ve had a nice meal, I can’t write — I get slow and sleepy. 

‘In the morning, I virtually have nothing other than a cup of coffee. 

‘I sometimes spend 12 or 13 hours a day on writing.’

Hope he has a well-stocked fridge to cope with those midnight binges…

 

Connery girl finds love with Peck grandson 

Gregory Peck never shared a screen with Sean Connery, but the Hollywood legends’ grandchildren have discovered they’re the perfect match.

I hear that Natasha Connery, the granddaughter of former James Bond star Sir Sean, is enjoying a passionate romance with Harper Peck, whose grandfather starred in To Kill A Mockingbird, the big-screen version of Harper Lee’s novel. 

‘It’s a great Hollywood romance,’ jokes one of their friends.

I hear that Natasha Connery, the granddaughter of former James Bond star Sir Sean, is enjoying a passionate romance with Harper Peck, whose grandfather starred in To Kill A Mockingbird, the big-screen version of Harper Lee's novel

I hear that Natasha Connery, the granddaughter of former James Bond star Sir Sean, is enjoying a passionate romance with Harper Peck, whose grandfather starred in To Kill A Mockingbird, the big-screen version of Harper Lee’s novel

The couple, who are both in their 20s, started the year riding hand-in-hand on horses into the sunset at an ‘eco’ resort in Mexico.

Harper is the son of Peck’s actress daughter Cecilia, while socialite Natasha is the granddaughter of Connery’s widow, Micheline.

Gregory Peck

Sean Connery

Harper is the son of Gregory Peck’s actress daughter Cecilia, while socialite Natasha is the granddaughter of Sean Connery’s widow, Micheline

 

The smart set’s talking about… screen ‘Kate’ who’s marrying her own ‘Wills’ 

Aristocratic actress Lady Alice St Clair-Erskine, who was cast as Kate Middleton in the 2011 television drama William & Catherine: A Royal Romance, doesn’t just share the Duchess’s looks.

I hear Lady Alice, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Rosslyn, is to marry her own Norfolk landowner.

Aristocratic actress Lady Alice St Clair-Erskine, who was cast as Kate Middleton in the 2011 television drama William & Catherine: A Royal Romance, doesn't just share the Duchess's looks. I hear Lady Alice, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Rosslyn, is to marry her own Norfolk landowner - solicitor Oscar Jamieson. (Above, Alice as Kate, and Dan Amboyer as Prince William in the show)

Aristocratic actress Lady Alice St Clair-Erskine, who was cast as Kate Middleton in the 2011 television drama William & Catherine: A Royal Romance, doesn’t just share the Duchess’s looks. I hear Lady Alice, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Rosslyn, is to marry her own Norfolk landowner – solicitor Oscar Jamieson. (Above, Alice as Kate, and Dan Amboyer as Prince William in the show)

While the Duke of Cambridge has Anmer Hall on the Queen’s Sandringham estate, Lady Alice, 33, has become engaged to solicitor Oscar Jamieson, 36, whose father, Andrew, owns Drove Orchards ten miles away in Thorham.

‘Everyone’s joking about their parallel lives,’ a friend tells me.

Lady Alice has now quit acting to concentrate on running the London Original Print Fair. And she has a fascinating sideline as a poet.

Using the alter ego Alan Moon, she publishes poetry read seductively online. 

One ode’s opening lines say: ‘A woman, a thin-lined drawn-out thought of a woman. Lips that kiss like the French Riviera.’

 

New year, new Boris! I hear the Prime Minister has embarked on a ‘massive’ health drive, which has already seen him shedding the pounds. 

‘He’s lost half a stone since Christmas,’ a Downing Street source tells me.

Johnson’s regime involves giving up alcohol for ‘dry January’, cutting out the fatty foods he loves so much, and taking regular exercise. Place your bets on how long it will last…

 

Mountain proposal for Mountbatten 

Lady Tatiana Mountbatten has started the year on cloud nine.

I can disclose that her banker boyfriend Alick Dru went down on bended knee on top of a mountain while they were on a skiing holiday in the Alps.

And the Old Etonian had taken the sparkler with him to Verbier, Switzerland.

Lady Tatiana Mountbatten has started the year on cloud nine. I can disclose that her banker boyfriend Alick Dru went down on bended knee on top of a mountain while they were on a skiing holiday in the Alps

Lady Tatiana Mountbatten has started the year on cloud nine. I can disclose that her banker boyfriend Alick Dru went down on bended knee on top of a mountain while they were on a skiing holiday in the Alps

‘Everyone is delighted for them,’ one of their friends tells me.

Equestrian-mad Lady Tatiana, 31, is the daughter of the Marquess of Milford Haven, a first cousin of the Queen.

She joked to me last autumn that she put her four-legged friends before Alick. ‘My boyfriend sometimes asks me: ‘Will I ever come before your horses?’ but I have to say no.’

 

(Very) modern manners

Where’s the fun in being a movie mogul if you can’t swan around in a Roller and chomp on a fat cigar?

However, Sir Ridley Scott has felt the need to ditch his gas-guzzling motor. ‘I drive a Toyota Prius,’ says the Oscar-winning film maker behind classics including Gladiator, Alien and Thelma & Louise. ‘I could drive a Rolls-Royce, but I don’t because I want to save the world and I’m not stupid.’

The South Shields-born director adds: ‘I got rid of all my fancy cars ten years ago.’

Incidentally, his 1982 film Blade Runner predicted LA residents would be zipping around in flying cars by 2019.

 

Quote of the week

‘Nothing is beneath me’

Despite her damehood in the New Year’s Honours, Ab Fab star Joanna Lumley says she’s ‘never got too snooty’ to turn down an acting role. 

 

Thirty reasons to party for Suki and Ms Jagger 

Suki Waterhouse’s boyfriend, the Twilight star Robert Pattinson, was nowhere to be seen as the model celebrated her 30th birthday.

Happily, her fellow mannequin, Georgia May Jagger, was on hand to serve her a huge cake, leaving Suki to say she was still being ‘spoiled’. Sir Mick’s daughter turns 30 next week, when they’ll be able to do it all again.

Georgia May was joined by her boyfriend, the 21-year-old Texan skateboarder Cambryan Sedlick. They’ve been going out since she split up with New York restaurateur Louis Levy.

Suki Waterhouse's boyfriend, the Twilight star Robert Pattinson, was nowhere to be seen as the model celebrated her 30th birthday

Suki Waterhouse’s boyfriend, the Twilight star Robert Pattinson, was nowhere to be seen as the model celebrated her 30th birthday

Happily, her fellow mannequin, Georgia May Jagger, was on hand to serve her a huge cake, leaving Suki to say she was still being 'spoiled'. Sir Mick's daughter turns 30 next week, when they'll be able to do it all again

Happily, her fellow mannequin, Georgia May Jagger, was on hand to serve her a huge cake, leaving Suki to say she was still being ‘spoiled’. Sir Mick’s daughter turns 30 next week, when they’ll be able to do it all again

 

Spider-Man: No Way Home has outshone No Time To Die at the box office and now its star, Tom Holland, has added insult to injury by revealing that the 007 producers missed out on the chance to sign him up as a youthful James Bond. 

‘I had a meeting with Sony to pitch this idea of a young Bond film that I’d come up with,’ says Holland, 25, who began his career on the West End stage in the title role of Billy Elliot The Musical. 

‘It was the origin story of James Bond. It was the dream of a young kid, and I don’t think the Bond estate were particularly interested.’ Clearly, his Spidey-Sense let him down.

Spider-Man: No Way Home has outshone No Time To Die at the box office and now its star, Tom Holland, has added insult to injury by revealing that the 007 producers missed out on the chance to sign him up as a youthful James Bond

Spider-Man: No Way Home has outshone No Time To Die at the box office and now its star, Tom Holland, has added insult to injury by revealing that the 007 producers missed out on the chance to sign him up as a youthful James Bond








 

Bosses of trendy Soho Farmhouse clearly think we’re going to be socialising outside for a long time to come. 

The Oxfordshire private members’ club, where Prince Harry courted Meghan, has applied to build a new outdoor sheltered area on the basis that ‘further variants of Covid-19 are becoming a fact of life for the foreseeable future’. 

It adds of the pergola: ‘Further covered outdoor space is considered essential to meet the expectations of members and guests.’