Cameron Axes Michael Gove in Reshuffle After Toxic Poll Warning

by Editor | July 16, 2014 2:44 am

THE GUARDIAN – David Cameron gave a ruthless display of prime ministerial power on Tuesday when he demoted his close friend and ally Michael Gove, as he removed a series of obstacles blocking the Conservatives’ path to a general election victory.

Amid warnings from the Tory general campaign director, Lynton Crosby, that private polling showed Gove had become a toxic liability among teachers, the prime minister moved his education secretary to the lower role of chief whip.

The man who had been praised by the prime minister as a pioneering reformer responsible for a new generation of free schools lost his full cabinet post, leaving him to joke about his prospects.

“I’m happy to be in this role,” Gove told the PM programme on BBC Radio 4. “Demotion, emotion, promotion, locomotion, I don’t know how you would describe this move, though move it is, all I would say is that it’s a privilege to serve.”

But his former special adviser and friend Dominic Cummings, who played a key role in designing the free schools programme, accused the prime minister of surrendering to the establishment, which was wary of Gove. Cummings blogged: “We got away with subverting every W/hall & No10 process, & it took DC 4 yrs to surrender.”

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