MP calls for 'Toryeducation' Twitter user to be unmasked

Account linked to Michael Gove is accused of using confidential information to target former minister

An anonymous Twitter account linked to the Education Secretary Michael Gove used confidential Whitehall information to attack a former Conservative Education minister, it was claimed today.

The account, called @toryeducation, is regularly used to praise Government education policy and to lambast critics of Mr Gove.

But today those behind the account went further, accusing the former Conservative Education minister Tim Loughton of “lying” over the publication of a confidential report to the Government.

The report in question was discussed at a private meeting attended by just a handful of Department of Education officials.

The row came after Mr Loughton used his own Twitter account to welcome the eventual publication of a Serious Case Review (SCR) into how two brothers from Edlington, South Yorkshire were failed by Doncaster social services and went on to horrifically torture two other young boys.

But in a tweet, Mr Loughton said the publication “should have happened in 2011” when he “wanted to publish SCR in full” but was blocked from doing so by his boss, Mr Gove.

His comments elicited a furious response from Toryeducation, which tweeted back: “Your lies on this subject are by far the worst of anything you’ve done in politics and we hope nobody believes a word you say.”

The Independent understands that the dispute over the publication of the SCR was only known to a small number of people in the Department of Education.

It was discussed at a meeting between Mr Gove, Mr Loughton, Mr Gove’s political adviser, Dominic Cummings, and two Department of Education ministers and officials in 2011.

Mr Loughton wanted to publish the document with redactions but Mr Gove believed it to be a “whitewash” which largely absolved Doncaster social services. He over-ruled Mr Loughton and delayed publication until after a separate inquiry into the failings at Doncaster social services had been undertaken by the eminent QC Lord Carlile.

Today Mr Loughton suggested that the small number of people at the meeting should help identify the author or authors of Toryeducation.

He tweeted: “Now we know there were only five people in room privy to me being blocked from publishing SCR so shall I name them?”

In another intervention Mr Loughton added: “Time to man up and reveal yourselves, both of you – let’s publish DfE Edlington memos redacted & see who is lying & who you are protecting.”

The latest revelation will increase pressure on the Cabinet Office to launch an investigation into who is behind the account.

But so far the Government is reluctant to try and unmask the author.

A Department of Education spokesman said yesterday: “If we were to receive any evidence that anyone connected with the DfE had broken the Special Advisers Code or the Civil Service Code, then we would take appropriate steps.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor