Both have been wielding the poisoned pen today. Gove first published a 1,300 word letter to his opposite number, Labour's shadow education secretary, picking holes in the opposition schools policy; the favour was duly returned as Twigg fired off a (much shorter) critique around 4pm this afternoon. See extracts below:
"I am sure your speech was the result of a well-thought-through reflection on schools policy and all of the above questions were considered, and fully addressed, in preparation for your announcement and so you will be able to reply promptly and put to rest the idea, which more and more people are regrettably succumbing to, that Labour schools policy is a confusing, uncertain and incoherent assemblage of sops to the trades unions and local authorities which reflects poorly on the intellectual rigour and moral courage of the current Labour frontbench in comparison with all previous Oppositions, confirms the risible weakness of the Labour leadership in the face of vested interests, and risks undermining the hard work of all those great teachers who are driving up standards in schools today."
"Thank you for your 1300-word letter.
I was very interested to hear, during Prime Minister’s Questions earlier today, the Prime Minister defending the Government’s decision to allow unqualified teachers to teach in classrooms.
I am delighted to see the attention you are paying to Labour party policy but might I suggest focusing more attention on your own policies?
With a primary places crisis, over 5000 unqualified teachers in academies and Free Schools, a fall in the number of apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds, youth unemployment at almost a million, a looming teacher shortage, and a new curriculum rejected by employers and teachers, surely your time would be better spent addressing these issues rather than being a pigeon carrier for Lynton Crosby’s gimmicks?
I fear, however, that you will continue to while away the hours sending letters to me, writing forewords to the Bible and dreaming up new names for GCSEs."
So is Gove incisive or a vaunting blowhard? Does Twigg make recover or is he left exposed? Take the poll and let us know your thoughts in the comments below: