Mason was on parade again when he urged Labour not to describe new proposals as a dress code. "Why don't you be upfront and call it school uniform?" he asked. "Dress code is a bit Tony Blair-ish."
Recalling that the committee had been talking about mixed-ability teaching, exclusions and a less academic curriculum for some, Mason remarked: "This is a deeply Conservative city and people will be delighted you're now backing setting, sin-bins, differentiation in the curriculum - and school uniform. "
But Peter Mullen retorted: "You don't need to be a thoughtful Conservative to believe in these things. I was an egalitarian in pursuit of excellence. "