Joan comes under attack from floor
Joan comes under attack from floor

A 15-year-old girl was jeered at the Labour conference for praising her school.

Joan al-Assam of Paddington Academy sparked an angry reaction by hailing her institution in west London.

Joan emigrated to Britain from Iraq when she was six years old. Today she is a star pupil at the academy.

She took to the platform at the conference in Manchester to talk about the high quality of arts education she receives.

But she provoked anger when she said: "It may seem extraordinary that an inner-city school offers so much but to us at Padddington this is nothing but normal."

An angry delegate on the floor interrupted her by railing against Academies - the brainchild of the last Labour government under Tony Blair.

Some members of the party claim that academies, which are free from town hall control, drain money from comprehensive schools.

Education secretary Michael Gove condemned the attack on Joan. "Heckling a schoolgirl because she goes to an academy is disgraceful," he said.

"But it also shows the real face of Labour - a party where aspiration and achievement gets booed."

A Labour spokesman also condemned the delegate's action.

"No-one should should be heckled at a party conference - least of all a teenager making her first speech."