A left-wing lobbyist selected as an SNP candidate in a deprived Edinburgh constituency is under fire after it emerged her children go to private school.

Ash Regan-Denham, who works for the socialist Common Weal think tank, shunned state schools in favour of a fee-paying institution.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said the revelation was “breathtaking”.

Denham is employed by the pro-independence Common Weal to promote and explain its progressive policies to MSPs.

She has said the Common Weal – the brainchild of campaigner Robin McAlpine – rejects the “survival of the richest, winner takes all mentality”.

She has also described her job at the organisation – whose slogan is All Of Us First - as helping promote policies for “fairness and prosperity”.

In a Common Weal Policy Lab working paper on education, the think tank said of school inequality: “One step to reducing this inequality would be to remove unnecessary religious segregation from our school system, and remove the charitable status of private schools, with the ultimate goal of rendering them redundant.”

Denham, who lives in the Borders, is also on the cusp of becoming an SNP MSP.

She failed to become the Nationalist candidate for the Westminster election, but won a close battle to become her party’s nominee next year in Edinburgh Eastern for Holyrood.

It is understood she won the contest by a handful of votes against SNP rising star Anum Qaiser.

In a YouTube clip for local party members, she said she attended a comprehensive school and backed free education.

However, Denham’s left-wing credentials have been questioned over the choices she has made for her own family, as her 11 year old twin boys attend an elite private school.

Edinburgh Eastern, which will see Denham go head-to-head with Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, is marked by pockets of poverty and low educational attainment in some schools.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently visited a school in the constituency, Craigentinny primary, to coincide with an announcement on raising standards in education.

Denham is the latest in a long line of left wing politicians whose collectivist politics clash with their own personal choices.

Labour MP Diane Abbott criticised the education decisions made by some of her own colleagues, but was scorned for choosing a private school for her own son.

Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour deputy leader, annoyed his colleagues in Glasgow when he chose an exclusive private school for his child.

Denham was raised in Biggar but moved to England as a child and attended Keele University.

She moved back to the Borders with her husband.

Asked about her children being privately educated, Denham said: “I will get back to you.”

An SNP spokesperson said: "Ash firmly supports the Scottish Government’s record of improving education and the First Minister’s drive to close the attainment gap. Her family’s education is a private matter reflecting family circumstances."

Fraser said: “This example of hypocrisy is quite breath-taking. Here we have an SNP candidate acting as a lobbyist for a left-wing organisation, while at the same time taking advantage of the benefits of private education. Rather than All Of Us First, this sounds a lot like Me First.”

McAlpine, the Common Weal director, said: "Ash is an extremely principled person who is very hard working."