Stephen Twigg writes to DfE Permanent Secretary over @Toryeducation “extortion” claims

11th February, 2013 4:52 pm

The questions rage on about the behaviour of Tory Spads and the now infamous @Toryeducation Twitter account. The latest development is a letter from Stephen Twigg to the DfE Permanent Secretary, regarding “a very serious allegation – of extortion – against someone who I understand is still working at the Department.” The letter is published below in full:

 

Chris Wormald

Permanent Secretary

Department for Education

Sanctuary Buildings

Great Smith Street

London SW1P 3BT

11 February 2013

Dear Chris,

You will be aware of a report in The Observer this weekend regarding claims of intimidation by Dominic Cummings, Special Adviser to the Secretary of State and James Frayne, the former Director of Communications at the Department for Education which resulted in a payout of £25,000 to the claimant.

The Education Secretary was asked by Ian Mearns MP during an evidence session of the Education Select Committee on 23 January 2013, if he was aware of “allegations of SpAds acting inappropriately to civil servants within the Department”. He denied any knowledge.

Could I ask you to confirm who took responsibility in the Department for the £25,000 payout and that the Secretary of State was not informed of the case?

The twitter account named @toryeducation has continued to make personal attacks, including about this case. It has been claimed that this twitter feed is updated by Dominic Cummings.

The account appears to know details of the case, which were not been made public in the Observer report, specifically that the case allegedly involved a woman. On 9 February at 9:11pm, it tweeted:

“Pop quiz Mulholland: do u think Cummings said ‘pay her off secretly’ or ‘fight the case publicly’?”

The account tweeted at 6:54am yesterday, that the bullying case was a “shakedown” following redundancies in the department:

“One of them brings standard shakedown legal case v DfE”

That is a very serious allegation – of extortion – against someone who I understand is still working at the Department.

Have you investigated who is responsible for updating the @toryeducation account?

You will be aware that both special advisers and civil servants are bound by a code of conduct, which precludes them from making personal attacks.

Three weeks ago I wrote suggesting that you to launch an investigation into the briefing against Tim Loughton. I am yet to receive a reply to this request. Can I ask what action has been taken to date?

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Twigg MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]

Latest

  • Comment Featured Naushabah Khan: We feel pride in our country so let’s use this to tackle Labour’s “Englishness problem”

    Naushabah Khan: We feel pride in our country so let’s use this to tackle Labour’s “Englishness problem”

    The reality of last year’s general election is that Labour’s failure to secure a victory in an England, suffering at the hands of UKIP, ultimately resulted in our defeat. As a parliamentary candidate in Rochester and Strood, for both the general election and by-election, caused by the defection of Mark Reckless to UKIP, I am all too aware of the public mood, that considered us out of touch with their lives and values. Both elections also revealed fascinating notions of nationalism, belonging and identity politics that as a […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Rachel Reeves: Queen’s Speech showed the typical Tory failure on pensions and infrastructure

    Rachel Reeves: Queen’s Speech showed the typical Tory failure on pensions and infrastructure

    Yesterday in Parliament we voted on the Government’s programme of legislation for the year ahead, as set out in the Queen’s Speech. The background to yesterday’s debate about its economic measures is the critical decision our country faces about its relationship with Europe. The evidence I have heard as a member of the Treasury Select Committee has left me more convinced than ever that a vote to leave would scupper any hopes and well-laid plans we might make for our […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Corbyn puts campaigns at heart of Labour staff reshuffle

    Corbyn puts campaigns at heart of Labour staff reshuffle

    Jeremy Corbyn has carried out a shake-up of the way the Labour Party operates with a review of the party’s internal structure and a reshuffle of his backroom staff. As the leader approaches nine months in the job, Simon Fletcher, chief of staff, will move to a new role of Director of Campaigns and Planning. While some have seen this as readying the party for a possible post-referendum snap election, it is seen internally as filling a more long-term brief – covering areas such […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Featured News Corbyn and Miliband team up to warn of dangers of Brexit on climate change

    Corbyn and Miliband team up to warn of dangers of Brexit on climate change

    Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband will hit the campaign trail together today as they champion the leadership the EU has shown on tackling climate change – and warn that a vote to leave would put recent progress “at risk”. It is the first public appearance that former leader Miliband has made with his successor, and comes in a week in which rumours circulated that Corbyn was trying to coax him back into the Shadow Cabinet. During last year’s leadership contest, Corbyn praised Miliband’s […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe Featured Chuka Umunna: Don’t take the polls for granted – we must defeat every argument from the desperate Leave campaign

    Chuka Umunna: Don’t take the polls for granted – we must defeat every argument from the desperate Leave campaign

    “Take Control” – that is the slogan of the faltering Vote Leave campaign.  I say “faltering” because they are by no means beaten. Any Labour supporter lulled by the current polls into thinking the Remain camp is on course to win need only cast their minds back to 10pm on Thursday 7 May 2015 – then, after a string of polls suggesting we were on the cusp of winning the last general election, we suffered a body blow and found […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit