Did Gove mislead Parliament over Spad bullying claims?

February 10, 2013 10:37 am

Last Sunday the behaviour of Michael Gove’s Special Advisers came under scrutiny. Now Gove has been accused of misleading Parliament over their behaviour. The Observer reports:

Michael Gove faces accusations that he may have misled parliament over claims of bullying and intimidation by key advisers at the Department for Education. The Observer can reveal that a senior civil servant in the education secretary’s department has received a secret payoff of about £25,000 out of public funds, after a lengthy grievance procedure involving members of Gove’s team, including his special adviser, Dominic Cummings, and the department’s former head of communications, James Frayne.

While an investigation within the department cleared the men, and said no disciplinary action was necessary, the final judgment made clear that their conduct had on occasions fallen short of the levels expected and that the behaviour of Cummings and Frayne, who has since left the department, “has been perceived as intimidating”. After the internal investigation was launched in the spring of 2012, the civil servant also decided to lodge a case with a tribunal, where the allegations would have been heard in public. A date was set for last month, but after further negotiations the financial settlement was agreed and the tribunal was cancelled.”

In response, Stephen Twigg released the following statement:

“These are incredibly serious allegations. It appears that Michael Gove has either misled Parliament or appears to have no control or knowledge of what his advisers do on his behalf. Misleading Parliament would be a breach of the ministerial code. We need a full investigation by the Cabinet Secretary.”

These stories over Gove’s Spads are going to run and run…

  • Dave Postles

    Dysfunctional, but it’s minor by comparison with the leaked report that Gove is considering transferring academies into the private sector because the amount required to fund the prospective 5,000 is beyond the scope of his department. So we already have £1bn diverted from LA schools to the academies and free schools, and now the prospect of schools being passed to the private sector and hence for-profit. We have an ex-journalist and an ex-banker responsible for pre-tertiary education. At BIS, we have a minister (Willetts) who is circumventing the normal procedures to facilitate university status for private, for-profit organizations, when all the reports from the US are revealing the failings of those institutions. Abysmal.

    • Jeremy_Preece

      So it is privatisation by spending public money to asset strip the UK, and all in the name of “helping the deficit”.
      Tory dogma, and all without democratic mandate.

  • Pingback: SPADS Cost TaxPayers £5 and Half Million Too Much | ukgovernmentwatch

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