Kelly V Kinnock

Article excerpt

THE GATHERING storm over the Government's education reforms has intensified with the intervention of the former Labour leader, Neil Kinnock.

Lord Kinnock told a meeting last night that the reforms would result in "a dreadful shattering of the school system" and urged the Government to drop measures to give schools greater independence. At the same time, a leaked report from the education select committee has urged greater powers for local authorities to force schools to take more children from poorer backgrounds.

Scores of Labour backbenchers are said to be threatening to rebel. The nature of the threat was underlined today by the Education Secretary, Ruth Kelly, who was outspoken in her criticism of the former Labour leader. Lord Kinnock, she implied, was out of step with backbenchers and their concerns: in other words, his stance threatens to take the party back to policies and divisions long ago abandoned.

Certainly there are backbenchers who would welcome the end of New Labour. …