Nick Clegg is pandering to lost voters by picking fights with Tories over education, claims Michael Gove
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Thursday 06 February 2014
Michael Gove has accused the Liberal Democrats of picking fights with the Conservatives over education to “pander” to teachers and other voters who have deserted their party.
The Education Secretary hit back after David Laws, the Lib Dem Schools Minister, criticised him in an interview in The Independent for sacking the Labour peer Sally Morgan as chair of Ofsted and called for the school inspectorate to be given more powers to scrutinise Mr Gove's flagship academy schools.
In a Daily Telegraph podcast, Mr Gove said Nick Clegg had backed the Coalition's education reforms, but now wants to be seen to oppose them in order to win back the votes of teachers and radicals. “There will be some people in the Lib Dems who will want to emphasise those differences to appeal to a section of the electorate that voted for the Lib Dems in the past, but don't agree with the changes we are making the education system now,” Mr Gove said.
The Education Secretary accused the Lib Dem leader of being conflicted over education policy, both supporting reforms and pandering to party activists who oppose them.
He said: “Good Nick, the angel one on shoulder, is saying: 'What Gove is doing is socially progressive, socially mobile, and in tune with good old Gladstonian principles'. Wicked Nick, sitting on his other shoulder, is saying 'Yes! But some of your more radical activists dislike it, so pander to them'. He will have to decide whether it's the good or the bad Nick that he indulges.”
Although Mr Gove played down his dispute with Mr Laws, the growing rift between the two Coalition parties on education is another example of how they are “diverging” ahead of next year's general election. Some ministers are worried that public rows over policy will damage both parties by making the Government look shambolic.
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
£40 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Nurse needed in salfordI a...
£25 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse needed in th...
£21588 - £31566 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...
£110 - £125 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are ur...