Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Gove vs Labour on Cummings, round 56

Michael Gove has this afternoon replied to Labour’s questions about Dominic Cumming’s access to the Education department since finishing as a special adviser. Coffee House has got hold of the letter first.

Labour became oddly fixated on whether or not Cummings was still visiting the department, rather than on his stinging criticisms of David Cameron and the Number 10 operation as ‘bumbling’ and a stumbling block for reform. So Gove’s reply to Kevin Brennan’s letter demanding more details is quite easy. He says he doesn’t know how often Cummings has visited the department. And that’s that, save for a gratuitous and teasing reference to the long-term economic plan…

Here’s the letter in full:

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Thank you for your letter of 17 June about my former special adviser, Dominic Cummings. I am very sorry if my answers in the House were not clear enough.

As I acknowledged in the House, old friends and colleagues do drop into the Department from time to time. I am sure you would recognise that, in the context of a team which has worked together over a number of years in Opposition as well as Government, it would be highly unusual for all contact to cease immediately and utterly simply because an individual leaves their post.

However, I am afraid I simply do not know on how many occasions Dominic has visited the Department for Education since he left his post.

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