A schoolboy from an East End council estate who shares a bedroom with his two brothers has won a £76,000 scholarship to Eton.
Hasan Patel, 16, from Leyton, London, became the youngest ever speaker at a major political party conference and won an army of followers after a rousing speech.
And the schoolboy will rub shoulders with the elite when he joins the world-famous Eton College in Berkshire next September.
It is a far cry from the two-bedroom council flat he shares with father Abdul, 69, mother Aysha, 49, and two brothers Yusuf, 17, and Adam, 21.
Hasan Patel, 16, from a council estate in Leyton, London, has won a £76,000 scholarship to Eton
Hasan’s father, who is retired, grew up in poverty-stricken India and headed to the UK in 1972 to build a better life for himself and his family.
His mother, who is also from India and receives housing benefits, moved to Britain in the mid-1990s.
Hassan said: ‘I am a boy from a Leyton council estate who receives free school meals. My parents are on welfare and I share a room with my brothers.
‘My dad was very smart and politically engaged but lived in abject poverty in India.
‘The students at Eton are from the most privileged corners of society, we could not be any more different.
‘My views may be different to them because my life experiences are very different. I think that is what impressed Eton, they wanted someone who could offer a different perspective.’
The schoolboy will rub shoulders with the elite when he joins the world-famous school in Berkshire next September
The rising political star made headlines when he became the youngest speaker when he represented Leyton and Wanstead at the Labour party conference, beating William Hague’s record in 1977.
He won his place at the prestigious boarding school after completing a gruelling three entrance exams and eight interviews.
Hassan, who currently studies at George Mitchell School in Leyton, will enter the sixth from to study A-Levels in four subjects; History, Geography, Politics and Drama and Theatre Studies.
Father Mr Patel says he is ‘incredibly proud’ of his son who was always ‘top of his class’.
Mr Patel said: ‘I never thought when I left India in 1972 that my son would end up going to the same school that the English royalty have been to.
‘All of his family are so incredibly proud of him and what he has achieved. We will miss him when he goes to Eton but going to this school will make a big difference to his future.
Hasan with George Mitchell headteacher Saeed Hussain. Hasan says that going to Eton won’t change his who he is or his political beliefs
‘We want him to go to Oxford or Cambridge. Being at Eton he will have a very good chance.
‘He was always a very smart boy even when he was very young. At primary school he was the top of the class.
‘When I was his age, I was the same. In India I was very engaged in politics, that was a long time ago now though.
Hasan says that going to Eton won’t change who he is or his political beliefs.
Speaking of his future, he said: ‘I am very much there to provoke lively debate.
‘Eton is a place where they encourage debate, I genuinely believe I can offer something to the school.
He added: ‘My politics won’t change because I am entering a different type of environment.
The schoolboy won his place at the prestigious Eton (pictured)l after completing a gruelling three entrance exams and eight interviews
‘I may be attending Eton but I will still be the same boy from East London when I arrive and when I leave.
‘I am not joining the elite but simply benefiting from the education my family would never in a million years be able to afford.’
Hasan was mentored throughout the application process by his school’s Headteacher Saeed Hussain.
Hasan said: ‘George Mitchell is an exceptional school. The support I have received from the school, and particularly from my Headteacher, has been incredible.
‘This is a place which gives us the students the tools and support to pursue our dreams. I have been here since I was three years old when I joined the nursery; it has played a crucial part in developing me into the person I am today.
Headteacher Saeed Hussain said: ‘Hasan is a truly exceptional young man. Aside from being incredibly bright he is one of the most engaged and motivated students I have known in my years of teaching.
‘He is the type of person who will seize this opportunity generously offered by Eton. His is a name I expect we will all be hearing more of in the near future.’