Monday, June 11, 2007

Day 24 and the Tory Grammar mutiny gets deeper as Lincs MP wades in ...

Day 24 in the Tory Grammar School debacle and the self-inflicted war inside Cameron's Conservatives goes on at every level.

A leading Lincolnshire Tory MP has waded into the row that his Leader David Cameron desperately tried to shut down weeks ago. And for good measure, Cameron's rival in his leadership contest has 'stuck the knife in'.

Today's Mirror reports that the Tory mutiny has deepened as David Cameron was knifed by David Davis:

Davis, the shadow Home Secretary, set himself at odds with Eton-educated Cameron by insisting grammar schools helped boost the chances of children from less welloff backgrounds.

Davis, a former grammar schoolboy, pointedly reminded viewers during the interview on the BBC's Sunday AM show that he had backed selective schooling during the 2005 Tory leadership contest - which he lost to Cameron.

Davis's intervention will be a bitter blow to Cameron, who is desperately hoping the education row will die down.
Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph reports that Cameron's hopes of drawing a line under the split have been dealt fresh blow as a leading Conservative MP has joined Chris Woodhead, the former Chief Inspector of Schools, to back selective education.

Lincolnshire MP Edward Leigh, the Tory chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, and Mr Woodhead argued that it was "irrational" to oppose calls for the creation of schools to cater for the most academically able.

Edward Leigh's determined intervention comes weeks after David Cameron attempted to shut down debate on grammar schools and the humiliating u-turn he was forced into in the face of a massive Tory rebellion against his attempts to end selection.

Cameron caused the crisis when he attacked the 11-plus for 'dividing children into sheep and goats'. He promised to end selection, but then climbed down, leaving his policy tatters and Cameron facing questions over his leadership ability.

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