Lib Dems deny it. Business as usual.
Nick Clegg’s advisers argued private companies should be allowed to run state schools for profit, Michael Gove’s former aide has claimed.
Dominic Cummings, who spent four years pushing through reforms as the education secretary’s special adviser, says top members of the Deputy Prime Minister’s team argued in favour of schools being run for profit during the early years of the coalition government.
Nick Clegg has previously claimed Liberal Democrats actually blocked the Conservatives from pushing through such a plan.
“Clegg’s advisers, [Richard] Reeves and [Julian] Astle, did argue for profits,” Cummings wrote in a 3,000 word blogpost published on Friday.
He added: “Clegg’s ‘I stopped Gove from doing profits’ speech was pure invention, dreamed up by Reeves in summer 2011, and was even more dishonest than a straight lie given his own and his advisers’ views.”
In response, the Deputy Prime Minister’s spokesman said there is no chance of schools ever being run for profit while Nick Clegg is in power: “The Liberal Democrats oppose profit making in state schools.”
“Nick Clegg is the leader of the party and has always made clear that is not something he would ever find acceptable, despite the Conservatives being in favour. It simply will not happen while the Liberal Democrats are in government.”
Clegg, who has received much of Cummings’ criticism, this week used his monthly press conference to suggest the former special adviser has “anger-management problems” and “delusions of grandeur”.
David Cameron, who has also been on the receiving end of Cummings’ brutal analysis of the inner workings of government, on Wednesday suggested Gove’s former aide is a “career psychopath”.