Michael Gove Calls New York Times ‘Useful Idiots’ for Trojan Horse Podcast | Michel Gove

Michael Gove called the New York Times “useful idiots” for his podcast on the Trojan Horse controversy involving Birmingham schools, and accused it of portraying the UK “as an island backwater whose inhabitants are drowning in a tide of nostalgia, racism and bad food”.

Gove’s claims come in the foreword to a new ‘documentary brief’ on the Trojan Horse affair published by the Policy Exchange think tank, whose authors question whether the government has sufficiently followed up on concerns about extremism in schools.

While much of the report contains historical details of the events of 2013-2014 – after an anonymous letter claimed Islamic militants were taking control of Birmingham’s state schools – it is also highly critical of from a recent New York Times-sponsored podcast, The Trojan Horse Affair. , who was skeptical of both the letter and the government’s handling of the controversy.

Gove, who was England’s education secretary when the controversy first erupted, wrote in the report’s foreword that the podcast series “was full of errors and omissions”. and a “travesty” that favored activists seeking to undermine government narratives about the case.

Gove and his co-author, former Home Office special adviser Nick Timothy, also accuse The New York Times of bias against the UK as a whole, saying the paper “has taken a particular stance towards the Britain in recent years, repeatedly portraying that country as an island backwater whose inhabitants are drowning in a tide of nostalgia, racism and bad food.”

The podcast criticized Gove’s involvement and revealed that he had been repeatedly warned that the original letter was “fake” by Birmingham authorities.

The bulk of the Policy Exchange report is a timeline of events leading up to the disclosure of the anonymous letter and the subsequent wave of reports and investigations by public bodies including Birmingham City Council, the Department of Education (DfE) and Ofsted. He factored in media coverage of the original case and the New York Times podcast when it launched in February this year.

Although little or no evidence of a plot organized by Islamic extremists has ever been uncovered and the Trojan letter is widely believed to be a hoax, investigations have led to several Birmingham schools forcing management changes and new national requirements for schools. prepare students for life in modern Britain.

But the authors of the Policy Exchange report questioned whether the government had adopted the recommendations made by its own investigation into the case. “It is unclear how many of these recommendations have been fully implemented and what the results of their implementation have been,” they concluded.

A government spokesperson said: ‘Schools are required to ensure all staff are trained to look for signs of radicalization as part of the duty to prevent and we have a dedicated helpline for schools to share their concerns about radicalization.

“We regularly update our guidance and release new training materials to help schools identify and deal with extremist views.”

Gove and Timothy also link criticism of the Trojan horse case to attacks on the government’s anti-extremism program, Prevent, which is the subject of an independent review led by William Shawcross.

“There is a well-organized campaign that seeks to undermine our work to counter extremism and the government’s counter-radicalization strategy, Prevent. Important to note in anticipation of Prevent’s independent review,” Gove and Timothy wrote.

“Many of the key players in this campaign – who will no doubt renew their demands for Prevent to be removed, however refined it is – are also involved in hiding the truth about the Trojan. of their campaign is the state-directed ‘Islamophobia’ allegation.”

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