Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt condemn Michael Gove for failing to act over warnings of an alleged “Trojan horse” plot by hardline Islamists to seize control of classrooms in schools in Birmingham.
Theresa May and Michael Gove have moved to damp down speculation over a row within the Cabinet on the handling of Islamist extremism inschools.
The Home Secretary and Education Secretary took the unusual step of issuing a joint statement insisting they are “working together” on the issue, after a letter from Mrs May appeared to question Mr Gove’s efforts to address it.
In a letter to the Education Secretary, Mrs May said concerns had been raised about the “inability” of local and central government to tackle the problem following allegations of an alleged “Trojan horse” plot by hardline Islamists to seize control of classrooms in Birmingham schools.
She also questioned whether Mr Gove’s department was warned about the allegations in 2010 and asked: “If so, why did nobody act?”
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “For two such senior ministers to launch a vitriolic public blame game in this way is appalling and irresponsible when they should be working together to sort out such serious problems.
“Preventing extremism is immensely important – in communities and in schools. The truth is that Michael Gove’s reforms have made it easier, not harder, for schools to be run inappropriately, while Theresa May has cut back Prevent programme funding that previously worked to tackle a wide range of extremism.
“They have both failed to prioritise this issue and are now engaging in playground activity rather than acting like secretaries of state. Too often both Michael Gove and Theresa May resort to public blame games rather than taking any responsibility themselves or working together with others. This is bad government and David Cameron should sort it out.”