Gove slammed by ex-minister
Former children's minister Tim Loughton has launched a stinging attack on Michael Gove's stewardship of the Department for Education.
Mr Loughton said the department was being run in an "anachronistic and bureaucratic" manner, and that the children's and families agenda was increasingly being neglected by Mr Gove.
The Tory MP was removed from the post of children's minister last year, after many years covering the children and families brief both in goverment and opposition.
Speaking to the Education Committee today, Mr Loughton said: "Ministers rarely go to other parts of the department. Most officials never met the Secretary of State other than when he would troop out a few chosen people for the New Year’s party.
"That is no way to run an important department. It’s terribly anachronistic, terribly bureaucratic, terribly formal in that respect."
He also expressed worries that his former brief of children’s care was being neglected at the expense of Mr Gove’s “radical” changes to the running of schools.
"I think my experience though, is that being a minister at the Children and Families Department, along with Sarah Teather, we were a declining priority in the department,” he said. "My great concern is that the children and families agenda has been greatly downgraded since the reshuffle."
Labour seized on Mr Loughton's comments. Lisa Nandy, Shadow Minister for Children and Young People, said: "Just a few days after the police and NSPCC report into Jimmy Savile, a former minister has lifted the lid on David Cameron and Michael Gove's education department, warning that they are failing to make child protection a high enough priority. That is an incredibly serious issue.""