4 Jun '14

News Theresa May is right Michael Gove is culpable over the Trojan Horse affair | Anne Perkins

The education secretary has tried to paint the Home Office as timid over extremism in UK schools, but the truth is not so simpleAn old-fashioned political row has erupted all over the news, and it certainly isn't over the Queen's speech. There is a lot of fight in the question of the proper limits of the state and religion, and all the more when the whole thing is set in the context of a potential leadership contest that could define the shape of Conservatism itself.The field of battle is a group of schools in Birmingham. But at heart it is that most defining of issues, the origins of extremism. Theresa May, pragmatic and sensitive to the need for social cohesion (and frontrunner in any leadership battle), versus Michael Gove (among other things a Cameron ultra-loyalist), who has a robust take on national identity that was described by a former ministerial colleague this morning as neocon. Odd, then, that it is May who is accusing Gove of being soft on extremism in Birmingham schools, particularly since it has been reported overnight that he now suspects that the schools have been victims of a militant-style operation by a small group of extremist Muslims. Now he wants to introduce a schools code of conduct that could lead to a French-style ban on the headscarf. Continue reading...

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