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Education secretary Michael Gove has appointed a partner in a global management consultancy that could bid for government contracts to sit alongside two Conservative Party donors on a committee that will oversee the progress of cuts in his department.
Paul Rogers is a managing partner at Bain & Company, a US firm that could bid for contracts that are outsourced on his recommendation – creating a serious potential conflict of interest.
John Nash and his wife have given nearly £300,000 to the Conservative Party since 2006. The private equity firm he co-founded, Sovereign Capital, once owned British private schools firm Alpha Plus and special needs school operator Senad. Although no longer directly linked to Sovereign, Nash has also invested in academies, private healthcare and care homes. He has already been rewarded for his contribution, with a peerage and a job as an education minister.
Theodore Agnew is a trustee of the New Schools Network, a group run by some of Mr Gove’s closest aides, that helped start his ‘free schools’ project.
The appointments appear to be a clear indication that UK government decisions are now made on the basis of financial gain, rather than the interests of the nation.
The committee they will join is to oversee cuts that will halve the DfE’s administration, with 1,000 job losses and the closure of six regional offices. Almost one-third of remaining staff will switch between teams working on time-limited projects.
The changes have created an atmosphere of disillusionment across Whitehall, with two-thirds of Britain’s most senior civil servants now so demoralised that they are considering quitting public service, according to a survey by the FDA union.
In other words, Gove is attacking our public services on several different fronts.
He is inflicting heavy damage on his own department’s ability to operate properly – does anyone really think expertise can be nurtured in people when they have to hop from one project to another, with deadlines hanging over them all the while?
His attack on civil service morale could create a vacuum where there is currently a large pool of expertise. How will our public services function if everybody who knows how they work has walked away in despair?
And his appointment of people with a clear financial interest in the outsourcing of Education Department responsibilities to the committee responsible for cutting it down to size makes it clear that he is trying to turn our children’s future into a fat little earner for his friends.
It is exactly what my #CleanHouseOfCommons e-petition is about. There should be a law against this.
Gove should not be allowed to give government jobs to Conservative Party donors. The decision seems clearly motivated by financial gain.
Gove should not be allowed to give a government job to a member of a firm that could benefit from his decisions. This is practically an incitement to make corrupt decisions for financial gain.
And he should not be allowed to make decisions that could weaken the British civil service. This could lead to mass outsourcing into the private sector – at huge expense – where no such move should be necessary.
The man is a disgrace to Parliament and an embarrassment to the UK.
But he’ll carry on doing exactly what he wants until YOU tell him to stop.
Spread the word.
Before it’s too late.