Michael Gove is set to be recalled by the Education Select Committee in the next few weeks to answer claims he misled Parliament regarding bullying in his department.
Update: A well placed source tells us that the committee met at 9am to discuss the allegations that the Education Secretary misled Parliament. Seemingly they were “pissed off” with Gove’s pre-emptive letter.
The background of the case, and the accusation that Gove misled Parliament – was set out succinctly in the Observer a few weeks ago:
“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.
On 23 January, however, Gove – who under the ministerial and special advisers’ codes is responsible for the behaviour of his advisers (known as Spads) – denied knowledge of any allegations of misconduct during an appearance before the education select committee.”
This is one select committee appearance that will be well worth watching…