Michael Gove’s ‘lunatic’ £400m raid to rescue his free schools vision
Coalition tensions escalate as Liberal Democrats confirm highly damaging leaked information from senior government source.
The coalition government has descended into open war on education as senior Liberal Democrats said Michael Gove had raided £400m from a fund that guarantees school places for pupils in order to plug a massive financial “black hole” in his free schools programme.
In a dramatic escalation of tensions, the Lib Dems confirmed highly damaging leaked information from a senior government source, who said that Gove had secretly taken the money from the Basic Need fund for local authorities last December, in the face of stiff opposition from the Lib Dem schools minister David Laws.
The government source behind the revelations tore into Gove, describing him as a “zealot … so ideologically obsessed with his free school experiment [that] he’s willing to see children struggle to get suitable school places”. This was done, said the source, because Gove had let the free school budget spin “out of control”.