Labour leader Ed Miliband has little experience of a working life outside politics
One in seven MPs have never had a proper job, according to research.
And in addition to those who have absolutely no experience of working in the real world, many more have served only brief stints as lobbyists or public relations advisers before entering politics full-time.
The study by the House of Commons Library reveals a dramatic rise in the number of so-called professional politicians, whose numbers have increased almost four-fold over the past 30 years.
Ninety MPs have never held a job outside politics, against 20 in 1982.
The trend is led by Labour, which has twice as many MPs who have never worked outside politics as either the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats.
Labour leader Ed Miliband is among those who have never had a significant job outside politics.
Instead, he served a long apprenticeship as a special adviser to Gordon Brown.
Another is Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who worked for a year as a Brussels lobbyist and dabbled for a few months in journalism before taking a job with the European Commission.
The study also reveals that working class MPs, who played a key role in the politics of the last century, have become an endangered species.
Former independent MP Martin Bell said the figures highlighted a dangerous trend, which had left modern politicians increasingly disconnected from real life.
Not alone: Ed Miliband is not the only senior Labour politician who lacks non-politics work on his CV: Both Ed Balls and his wife Yvette Cooper were journalists before entering politics
â€˜It is a very dangerous development,â€™ the former BBC war reporter said. â€˜One of the effects is that there is a growing gulf between politicians and the people, the government and the governed.
â€˜Another damaging result of the rise of the professional politician is that we send our armed forces too war far too nonchalantly because there are very few people with any experience of armed conflict.
â€˜Politics has become an attractive career for some bright young things who see it as a job for life. The trouble is that it leaves them prisoners of the party machine. They know that if they are deselected they are unemployable because they have never had a proper job. That leaves them at the mercy of the whips.â€™
The analysis by the Commons Library shows that 90 MPs have never held a job outside politics, compared to just 20 in 1982. Of these 52 are Labour MPs, 31 are Tories and seven are Lib Dems. In total, a fifth of Labour MPs are now professional politicians, compared to a tenth of Conservatives.
Other senior Labour figures who have little experience outside politics include the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, who worked briefly as a journalist before becoming a Labour MP, and her husband, the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, who worked as a journalist for four years before serving a decade-long apprenticeship to Gordon Brown.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg worked as a journalist and lobbyist for a brief period of time before taking a job with the European Commission
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is another with little experience outside politics, having worked for a year as a Brussels lobbyist and dabbled for a few months with journalism before taking a job with the European Commission.
David Cameron worked in a public relations role for seven years at Carlton Television before becoming an MP in 2001. But he had already cut his teeth at Westminster during several years as a Tory adviser.
Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Jon Trickett said this week that about a quarter of MPs had been â€˜full-time politicos alreadyâ€™ before entering Parliament.
Mr Trickett said Labour was keen to recruit more working class MPs in future, saying it was â€˜important that our MPs reflect all the different parts of our countryâ€™.
But the latest research reveals that working class MPs have all but disappeared from Westminster. Just 25 former manual workers were elected as MPs in 2010, compared to 98 in 1979. Almost all of them are Labour MPs.
By contrast, the number of MPs from white collar backgrounds has increased from just nine in 1979 to 84 today. The number of teachers has halved to just 24, but the number of lawyers has declined only slightly to 86.