Call for probe over Education department 'smear campaign'

The Shadow Education Minister has asked the Cabinet Secretary to investigate if there has been a breach of the code of conduct for Special Advisors after reports in the Observer alleging that a Twitter feed has been engaged in a "smear campaign".

I write to ask you to launch an investigation into the conduct of the Special Advisers to the Secretary of State for Education, namely Dominic Cummings and Henry de Zoete.

There are serious allegations that the code may have been breached on several occasions. You will be aware that ministers have responsibility for the actions of their Special Advisers.

In addition, the Twitter feed @toryeducation has made a number of personal attacks on journalists and other public figures.

I would be grateful if you could investigate the source of the smears on this Twitter feed and the attacks on Tim Loughton.

I would also ask you to investigate if official Departmental resources have been used, such as official computers, blackberries or phones, to conduct a smear campaign against those who question or criticise the Education Secretary.

– Stephen Twigg, Shadow Education Secretary

Although Stephen Twigg has called for an investigation it is up to Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary whether any probe goes ahead.