UKIP North West Euro MP Paul Nuttall is calling for the return of grammar schools after ex-Prime Minister Sir John Major expressed shock at the dominance of private school-educated elite in the “upper echelons” of public life.

He said: “Has he only just realised that more than half the Cabinet fall into that bracket and have financial means the vast majority in this country can only dream about? It's really no wonder that they don't get it when it comes the life and financial worries of the average person.

“The education system in this country is failing our children and the answer is the re-introduction of grammar schools and technical colleges.”