At lobby briefing this morning the PM’s spokesman gave a wonderfully telling answer to the question of whether David Cameron knew about Michael Gove’s O-Level plans.

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Last week the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said Downing Street didn’t know, over the weekend there was a suggestion it did – so did the PM know or not?

The spokesman said: “[The PM] certainly knows that Michael Gove wants to reform the education system and indeed he appointed him with that in mind. That is the point.”

Is it? The spokesman was pressed again and came out with the following.

“The secretary of state wants to reform the education system and that involves in particular looking at our exam system, whether it is rigorous and whether we have a system which keeps pace with what’s going on in the rest of the world. Clearly we are looking at this issue very hard. [Gove] made clear in his statement to the Commons last week that we need to have a conversation about these issues and he wants the conversation to be broad and inclusive and no doubt he’ll be saying more about that in the coming weeks.”

Inclusive, but apparently not so inclusive as to include the PM it seems.

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