Today has brought unwelcome news for Andrew “transcription error” Gilligan, as investigations continue into a number of schools in Birmingham alleged to be part of an attempted Islamist infiltration dubbed “Operation Trojan Horse”, after the leaked letter that even Gilligan does not consider totally credible. What is not going to help Gilligan’s case is that someone in Government is on his case.
Stay right where you are, Andy
This is because the allegedly fake letter is not the only thing to have been leaked: as I noted the other day, there have been DfE inspections, especially at Park View Academy, the results of which have been directly leaked – apparently in their entirety – to the Telegraph, or to Gilligan. Given his track record on Muslim-bashing, the intention behind the leaking is not difficult to deduce.
So the DfE – the empire of Michael “Oiky” Gove – has had to admit, as “Control” concluded in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, that “we have a mole”. And this is not the first instance of material from that department being leaked to the Telegraph Group: as I pointed out in February last year, meeting minutes and other correspondence was being routinely leaked to the Spectator magazine.
And, with Dominic Cummings and Henry de Zoete having apparently parted company with “Oiky”, the conclusion has to be reached that they are not the source of the Gilligan leaks, which have resulted in Park View Academy starting to receive hate mail, and Birmingham council leader Albert Bore denouncing the leaks as “wholly reprehensible and completely unacceptable”.
What Bore has also revealed is that the Civil Service is taking the leaks very seriously indeed, and that “the Cabinet Office is investigating the source”. And the matter needs to be taken seriously, given the prejudicial coverage, epitomised by the Mail’s talk of “An investigation into Birmingham schools at the centre of a plot to introduce hardline Islamist teaching”. Note omission of the word “alleged”.
The Mail article goes on “In a document leaked to The Telegraph, inspectors found that in Park View school, girls were forced to sit around the back or edges of the classroom while boys were allowed to sit at the front”. As I showed, it was not quite so simple, and the report also admitted that boys and girls were mixed in some classes. Leaks mean selective reporting takes hold.
That report also contains the highly questionable assertion “Pupils were also encouraged to begin and end lessons with prayer, and loudspeakers were used to broadcast calls to prayer”. Yes, it’s not under Gilligan’s control, but it is a direct result of his benefiting from DfE leaks. That the Cabinet Office is involved means there is a determination to find the leaker. And after that could come trouble for the Tel.
Andrew Gilligan does seem to be bad news for news organisations, doesn’t he?