Ms McVey suggested pigeonholing younger Britons into a university education could threaten the “foundations” of UK society. The Conservative Party MP lamented the disappearance of the appreciation of every citizen regardless of their profession. Speaking on the first day of the Blue Collar Conservatism Conference in Mansfield, Ms McVey said: “Particularly when I was growing up, this ability to appreciate everybody for whatever job they did seemed to disappear.
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“Because all of a sudden there was this set target that 50 percent of people had to go to university because that was the only way to go.
“But if you look at a house, it’s just as important that the foundations are right, that the roof is right and the plumbing and the electricity work as is somebody who conveys it properly for you.
“I think we’ve forgotten that as a society. It was just, ‘go to university,’ which was wrong and has put us on the wrong track for a long period of time.
“With that, let’s be honest, there’s been snobbery, ‘you’re good if you do this and not if you do that’.”
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Ms McVey added: “And that is absolutely wrong.”
Ms McVey launched the Blue Collar Conservatism Movement in 2012 to bring together members of her party who identify as working-class Conservatives.
The Conference will take place from September 28 until October 2 to provide a platform to ordinary voters in former Labour red walls seats.
The Conservative Party recorded an unprecedented success in the region, winning a series of historically Labour seats for the first time in December’s general election.
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Education Secretary Gavin Williamson kickstarted the conversation with a one-on-one discussion about the state of the education system in the UK.
Mr Williamson insisted on the importance of impartiality for state-funded organisations, reiterating people should have their freedom of expression recognised.
He said: “We’ve got to ensure political impartiality right across the spectrum.
“Educational organisations that are state-funded, you’ve got to ensure that you do have that impartiality.
“And you’ve got to make sure there’s a broad spectrum of views. I’ve often spoken about the importance of freedom of speech and making sure people aren’t no platformed.”