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()

Latest

  • Comment Reaching new communities

    Reaching new communities

    This article is from Our Labour, Our Communities – a pamphlet of 10 essays by Labour PPCs, published by LabourList in partnership with Lisa Nandy MP. I am proud to be standing as the candidate for my hometown of Hastings & Rye, but I am equally proud to stand as a parliamentary candidate who is also half Chinese and half British. My mother is Chinese Malaysian and came to this country 41 years ago to be a nurse in Hastings and continues to […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Labour could lose out by not making it’s stance on Trident clear

    Labour could lose out by not making it’s stance on Trident clear

    Cutting Trident will be the price of support in a hung parliament. That’s the news reported from a meeting of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green leaders this week. With Labour’s slim lead and the SNP and Green vote threatening to impact on its share, this is a serious issue. Labour’s policy clearly states, ‘Labour has said that we are committed to a minimum, credible independent nuclear deterrent, delivered through a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent. It would require a clear body […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Is Cameron “frit” of TV debates? Let’s try the empty chair threat

    Is Cameron “frit” of TV debates? Let’s try the empty chair threat

    Lord Ashcroft has told him he shouldn’t have done it in 2010. Lynton Crosby has told him not to do it in 2015. It’s no surprise that David Cameron is trying to wriggle out of televised leader debates during the General Election – even though he has said he is willing to take part “in principle”. Time perhaps to dust off one of Margaret Thatcher’s favourite barbs “He’s frit.” Neil Kinnock tried it in 1992 to try to goad John Major into […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Flexibility makes for good work, strong families and thriving communities

    Flexibility makes for good work, strong families and thriving communities

    By Stephen Timms MP and Ian Murray MP The Christmas period reminds us that modern life can be busy, hurried and demanding. The pressures of work, demands of family life and hectic Christmas schedules can prove stretching as we juggle competing demands. Increasingly the need for flexible work is driven by the complex shape of people’s lives; as parents go to work, struggle to make ends meet, perform career roles, take their children to school and activities and try and carve […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour MP questions campaigning roles of publicly funded advisers

    Labour MP questions campaigning roles of publicly funded advisers

    As the start of the long campaign begins today, curbing the amount of money parties can spend between now and May 7th, Labour MP Jon Ashworth has sought to clarify what precautions are being taken to ensure publicly-funded government advisers are not using their time campaigning. Ashworth has sent a letter to senior civil servant Jeremy Heywood, asking him to answer a number of questions about what kind of campaigning activity was permitted and undertaken by special advisers (SpAds) in […]

    Read more →