Sunday, 26 February 2012

Murdoch, Gove and Toby Young

Just how close are these three?

And what motivates their interest in our education system?

I put the following timeline together in a few minutes earlier today. I’m sure I’ve missed plenty of key things out, so I reserve the right to add to it, but it makes interesting reading as is, I think you’ll agree. I leave you to draw your own conclusions...

6 May 2010

The last General Election took place. No party gained enough seats to form a government. After negotiations the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition was formed and on 11 May David Cameron becomes Prime Minister. On 12 May he appoints Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education.

19 May 2010

Gove has first of 7 meetings with his ex-employer, Murdoch, including two dinners in June 2011:

12 September 2010

The Guardian reports concerns at plans to give News International an academy school to run:

2 March 2011

Toby Young gets go ahead from Gove to set up West London Free School:

24 May 2011

Murdoch makes speech declaring that News Corp are to set up an education arm:

27 July 2011

Mail publishes story showing that cabinet ministers, including, Gove, have met senior News International officials almost one hundred times since the general election. The Mail describes the relationship between the cabinet and News International as “cosy”:

6 August 2011
Independent publishes story stating that, despite the hacking row, Gove is pressing on with his plans to give Murdoch an academy to run:

Friday Oct 14 2011
Murdoch makes speech saying education is an untapped market worth $500 billion in the US alone:
10 January 2012

The Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle reports that Toby Young's West London Free School is to set up a primary school opening in 2013:
15 February 2012

Toby Young uses his Telegraph column to defend Gove against what he calls a “hysterical attack” by the respected journalist Seumas Milne:

21 February 2012

Gove attacks the Leveson enquiry which is, of course, closely examining the behaviour of the Murdoch press and says that it is creating" a chilling atmosphere towards freedom of expression"

23 February 2012

Toby Young announces that he is leaving the Telegraph and going to work for Murdoch at the Sun on Sunday:

26 February 2012

Toby Young uses his first column in the Murdoch owned Sun on Sunday to suggest that Gove should be our next Prime Minister:

The Guardian publishes this article by investigative journalist David Leigh examining the close ties between Murdoch and Gove, and what might motivate those ties. A Gove spokesperson declines to comment on the article:

25 April 2012

The Guardian reports that Murdoch's witness statement to the Leveson enquiry reveals that, while plans to establish a News International academy school had fallen through, the company had begun looking in to setting up a free school:

29 May 2012

Gove uses his appearance at the Leveson enquiry to praise Murdoch, calling him "one of the most impressive and significant figures of the last 50 years":

In the same appearance at Leveson Gove gave a clear signal that he was about to allow profit making by free schools:


  1. that Gove should be our next Prime Minister. Oh Fuck.

  2. A talentless shit, as Toby Young is,gets a school to play with. Is he looking higher up the chain?

  3. That Mail article doesn't say that Gove met NI officials 100 times, but that cabinet ministers met NI officials 100 times.

  4. Paul - quite right - will correct.

  5. Murdoch is the sort of evil genius that would understand that the education system is a great channel for his propaganda and Gove is the perfect toadying foil. And Toby Young is a great mouthpiece for the things Gove can't (yet) say as a public official.

    If Leveson/Hackgate hasn't convinced people Murdoch has no business near our children I don't know what will.

  6. They are so blatant, and arrogant. Great bit of timeline research. Gove should answer because he is meant to be a public servant, although we know that isn't true don't we.

  7. Great post - I've been thinking along similar lines (eg ). There is a potentially huge story in here somewhere. Let's hope we see Gove in front of Leveson.

  8. God, that's so scary. A great timeline, and one that needs reporting more often. I hope we're all following!