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The Education Secretary Michael Gove has been accused of being 'outrageous' and 'offensive' after claiming that some schools in County Durham 'smell of defeatism.'
The Conservative MP made the remarks during a speech about under-achieving - and highlighted East Durham as a place with low ambition.
Teachers and MPs have furiously denied the claim, saying that Mr Gove has spoken without even visiting the area.
Watch the full report from Jonny Blair below.
The Education Secretary Michael Gove has been criticised for making 'offensive' and 'ignorant' comments about schools in part of County Durham.
The Conservative MP said East Durham is an area lacking in ambition, where defeatism could be 'smelt' in some schools.
His remarks have been met with anger by local people.
MP Grahame Morris told ITV News that schools are performing well and Michael Gove's comments are unfounded.
Speaking at a book launch on school under-achievement, Michael Gove said: “There is a real problem of ambition in certain traditional communities, like East Durham, which needs to change.”
He blamed the long-established ruling Labour Party for contributing towards there being “no choice” in aspirations.
Labour leaders hit back, saying the area’s schools are high achievers and that millions of pounds have been invested in education, despite the Coalition government withdrawing the Building Schools for the Future scheme.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has sparked anger after he said you can walk into an East Durham school and “smell the sense of defeatism”. Labour leaders are “outraged” at the Government minister’s “insult” that brands local schools as having a lack of ambition.