Morgan denies Gove 'backseat driving' at DfE

"Michael has been nothing but supportive" education secretary says while asserting her authority over the department

By Dods Group

02 Feb 2015

Reports that Michael Gove is still receiving Department for Education paperwork every night are a "complete load of old nonsense", Nicky Morgan has said.

The Independent on Sunday reported that Mr Gove, who is now chief whip, is getting copies of documents meant for his successor Ms Morgan through Whitehall back channels on top of papers relating to his current job.

But the current education secretary said that while Mr Gove did have sight of various departmental papers in his role as Chief Whip, she had "no reason to suspect" him of meddling.

"I think this is a complete load of nonsense," she told the Andrew Marr show on Sunday.

"Michael has been nothing but supportive as have other former education secretaries... I am very much in charge of the Department for Education and we are all as Conservative colleagues united in what we want to see.

"Michael has been nothing but supportive whenever I have asked him a question, he’s been very helpful. But he’s very clear – he’s is the chief whip, and I have to say, having been a whip, the chief whip has a very busy role."

Meanwhile, Ms Morgan has unveiled plans for all children in England to be required to know their twelve times table by the end of primary school.

She told the Sunday Times that pupils aged 11 should also know correct spelling, punctuation and grammar, and unveiled an "unapologetically ambitious" pledge to get England into the top five in the world for English and maths by 2020, up from its current place of 23rd.

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