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Former children's minister: We're rewarding failure

Time Loughton, the Conservative former children's minister, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that Sharon Shoesmith's payout was "effectively rewarding failure".

When you are appointed a director of children's services - this is the whole point of the reforms after Victoria Climbie, which again happened in Haringey - is that the buck has to stop somewhere and someone has to take responsibility.

You don't expect that person accepting responsibility, reluctantly in this case, to get a very large cheque on the back of it as well.

– Tim Loughton, Tory former children's minister

Read: Sharon Shoesmith 'to receive six-figure payout'

Tory MP: Teather 'a bad minister as she was childless'

A former Conservative education minister has allegedlysuggested that the Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather was a poor families minister because she has no children.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Tim Loughton said Miss Teather, who has no children, failed to support married couples in office because she “doesn’t really believe in family”.

MP Sarah Teather. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Loughton, who was speaking to activists at the Conservative Renewal conference in Windsor, said: "The person who was actually in charge of family policy amongst the ministerial team at the DfE [Department for Education] was Sarah Teather.

"Which was a bit difficult because she doesn't really believe in family. She certainly didn't produce one of her own. So it became a bit of a family-free zone. I think that is a huge disappointment."

Mr Loughton has since tweeted that his words had been "distorted" by journalists, and were "not a personal attack" on Miss Teather.

The MP said he was "sorry" and his criticism was "not intended or fair" and was meant to be of Lib Dem family policy rather than of Miss Teather.

Read: Ex-Lib Dem minister Sarah Teather to quit politics

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Tim Loughton: Around 180 Tory MPs rebelled

Tory MP Tim Loughton has said he believes around 139 Conservative MPs voted against the same sex marriage bill, and possibly as many as 40 of them abstained.

If true, that would mean that a substantial majority of the party did not vote with the Prime Minister.

He told BBC News that he did not see it as a reflection on David Cameron's lack of authority.

Gove distances self from spat over 'narcissist' minister

The Education Secretary Michael Gove has denied any knowledge of who in his department described an outgoing minister as a"lazy, incompetent narcissist obsessed only with self-promotion".

Former children's minister Tim Loughton was described as "lazy" and "incompetent" by an anonymous source
Former children's minister Tim Loughton was described as "lazy" and "incompetent" by an anonymous source Credit: Katie Collins/PA

Tim Loughton, who was sacked as children's minister in the last reshuffle, was denounced in a briefing to the Spectator magazine by an anonymous source in Department for Education.

Mr Gove insisted he did not know who made the briefing and said Mr Loughton "far from being incompetent ... was a talented and effective minister who made a difference".

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