David Cameron's ex-aide Steve Hilton hits out at 'ruling class'
David Cameron's former chief strategist has launched a bruising attack on the "insular ruling class" who control Britain.
Steve Hilton said too many of the people who make decisions go to the "same dinner parties" and send their children to the same schools. Complaining that governments act for the rich rather than the poor, he said democracy was in "crisis" because whatever the result of elections the same group stayed in charge.
"Our democracies are increasingly captured by a ruling class that seeks to perpetuate its privileges," Mr Hilton wrote in an article for the Sunday Times.
"Regardless of who's in office, the same people are in power. It is a democracy in name only, operating on behalf of a tiny elite no matter the electoral outcome."
Mr Hilton - who left Downing Street in 2012, but remains close to Mr Cameron - suggested the fundamental problem had helped fuel the rise of the SNP and Ukip.
The intervention, part of a promotional drive for his new book on democracy, is likely to be seen as a rebuke to the Prime Minister.
He added: 'From the rise of the Tea Party and Occupy movements to protest parties in Europe, Ukip and the nearly successful vote for Scottish independence, it's clear that our political systems - in the UK, America and continental Europe - are not translating people's wishes into action.
"We need to make democracy work as it was intended, as a vehicle for real people power, not the plutocrat power we have today."