Ex-Gove aide attacks David Cameron and his advisers

Jun 16, 2014 by

David Cameron and his senior team are presiding over a directionless “shambles”, according to an ally of Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Dominic Cummings, Mr Gove’s former special adviser, told the Times the prime minister “bumbles… without the slightest sense of purpose”.

He also criticised two of the PM’s most senior aides, labelling one a “sycophant” and another “clueless”.

A source close to Mr Gove said he had no prior knowledge of the article.

The education secretary also disagreed with the comments about Number 10, the source added.

Neither the Department for Education nor the Conservative Party commented to the BBC about the interview.

‘Shambolic court’

Mr Cummings left the Department for Education in January having been a driving force behind the Government’s free schools policy.

But in an interview with the newspaper he expressed frustration at the pace of reform.

“We could have gone faster, further, better,” he said.

The outspoken former aide laid the blame for blocking more radical ideas at the door of Mr Cameron’s chief of staff Ed Llewellyn.

“He wants to close things down,” Mr Cummings said, accusing the senior adviser of being a “sycophant presiding over a shambolic court”.

He went on to criticise the prime minister’s director of communications Craig Oliver, telling the newspaper: “He’s just clueless.”

Ed Llewellyn Before entering Number 10 Ed Llewellyn worked for Mr Cameron in opposition

The comments come after Mr Cummings’ former boss had to apologise earlier this month for his part in a war of words with the home secretary over tackling religious extremism in schools.

But, bringing what the BBC’s chief political correspondent Gary O’Donoghue said was “more unwelcome attention” on Mr Gove, his special adviser of three years went on: “As Bismarck said about Napoleon III, Cameron is a sphinx without a riddle.

“He bumbles from one shambles to another without the slightest sense of purpose.”

He said the “public perception” of the prime minister was that “he does not understand the concerns of ordinary people”.

“That’s because they (Number 10) are very out of touch,” he added.

Mr Cummings was also critical of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, saying: “He’s a goner. People look at him and just have contempt for him – he’s the author of his own misfortune.”

Before joining the DfE, Mr Cummings worked as Michael Gove’s chief of staff and before that as Conservative director of strategy under then leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Mr Gove, a close friend of David Cameron, has previously said the number of Old Etonians in the prime minister’s inner circle – one of whom is Mr Llewellyn – was “ridiculous”.

by Education News
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via BBC News – Ex-Gove aide attacks David Cameron and his advisers.

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