FT v Gove Sparks Twitter Flame War

In the Westminster Village the battle between the FT’s education correspondent and Gove has been providing much amusement. As is the way nowadays the battle has gone all handbags-at-dawn and spilled over onto Twitter:

http://twitter.com/#!/toryeducation/status/116532280637407233

Chris Cook, himself a former CCHQ political adviser on education to David Willets and now the FT’s education correspondent, alleges that the SpAds around Gove are using their private email accounts to conduct government business off the record and away from prying FoIs. They say they are required to do this by the Code of Conduct for SpAds which requires them to

not use official resources for party political activity

Cook argues that private emails should be subject to FoIs and has got a barrister to support his position (with substantial caveats rendering it unlikely). This unsurprisingly hasn’t been jumped on by Labour because it is unrealistic and Guido would be FoIing, from 2 years back, EdBalls@Labour.org.uk in the blinky of an eye.

Cook has complained to CCHQ, the Cabinet Office, the DfE and Downing Street that the counter-attack is disproportionate and he has been defamed. The FT is apparently going to complain in writing on his behalf that the big boys have been horrid to him. Cook further claims that Gove’s SpAds should be fired for making ad hominem attacks on him in contravention of their Code of Conduct which explicitly prohibits

the preparation or dissemination of inappropriate material or personal attacks… Any special adviser ever found to be disseminating inappropriate material will automatically be dismissed by their appointing Minister.

As far as Guido can tell there is no evidence that Gove’s SpAds have made any personal attacks on him. The Twitter account is run by CCHQ not the DfE…




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

No prizes for guessing who Andrea Leadsom is talking about:

“As you said last week, Mr Speaker, we have a responsibility to safeguard the rights of this House and as Leader of the House I seek to do exactly that, treating all members of parliament with courtesy and respect. I hope and expect all Honourable and Right Honourable members to do likewise.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Young Voters Now Prefer May to Corbyn Young Voters Now Prefer May to Corbyn
Ruth and Gove Blast “Dour” Tories Ruth and Gove Blast “Dour” Tories
Ken Resigns from Labour Ken Resigns from Labour
New Tory Treasurer is Director of 7 Companies With Overdue Accounts New Tory Treasurer is Director of 7 Companies With Overdue Accounts
All-Remain Peston Show “Kerfuffle” All-Remain Peston Show “Kerfuffle”
Top Tory’s Firm Implicated in Russian Dirty Money Report Top Tory’s Firm Implicated in Russian Dirty Money Report
New Peerages New Peerages
Kate Osamor Plagiarises Barack Obama Speech Kate Osamor Plagiarises Barack Obama Speech
Corbyn’s New Peer Martha Osamor Defended Anti-Semites Corbyn’s New Peer Martha Osamor Defended Anti-Semites
Tower Hamlets Labour Council Bosses Award Themselves Vast Pay Rises Tower Hamlets Labour Council Bosses Award Themselves Vast Pay Rises
Corbyn-Backed Lewisham Candidate Loves Castro and Chavez Corbyn-Backed Lewisham Candidate Loves Castro and Chavez
‘Beijing Barry’ Takes £43,000 from China-Linked Firm ‘Beijing Barry’ Takes £43,000 from China-Linked Firm
Bercow Bullying Inquiry Blockers Bercow Bullying Inquiry Blockers
Irish Border Camera Problem Solved Irish Border Camera Problem Solved
Thornberry Talks Up Assad Thornberry Talks Up Assad
Three Labour Lewisham East Candidates Promoted Extremist Imam Three Labour Lewisham East Candidates Promoted Extremist Imam
Bercow Worked With Labour on Humble Address Bercow Worked With Labour on Humble Address
Red Gammon Red Gammon
Labour Drop Punchy Parliamentary Candidate Labour Drop Punchy Parliamentary Candidate