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Bradford MP queries Tory involvement in controversial free school

An MP has claimed a Conservative Party vice-chairman was involved in the business management and governance of a flagship free school in Bradford which became mired in financial irregularities involving public money.

Lib Dem David Ward (Bradford East) said Tory donor Alan Lewis, who is listed as a benefactor and executive patron of Kings Science Academy, was involved in the school's financial management because he amended an audit report into the school by a company he recommended.

The Kings Science Academy has been under scrutiny for financial practices

An investigation by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), published in October, found serious failings in the financial management of the school which claimed tens of thousands of pounds in public money which was not used for its intended purposes.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said Mr Lewis's role in commissioning a separate audit report helped to ensure the free school "moved from a difficult position to a better one".

David Ward has made claims about the Tory party's vice chairman's involvement in the Kings Science Academy

Labour claimed Mr Gove had failed to take any action against anyone since the Kings scandal broke in October and questioned whether it was due to Mr Lewis's role as the school's landlord.

Shadow education minister Kevin Brennan claimed the Tory vice-chairman for business stands to gain £12 million in rent from the school.