Labour has dropped its opposition to the Conservatives' free schools policy, the new shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt has signalled.
The TV historian, who was among the big winners in Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet reshuffle, confirmed that a Labour government would not close down any of the free schools established under the reforms pioneered by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
According to the Mail on Sunday, he said the party would be coming forward with its own version of the scheme - which enables groups of parents and other organisations to set up schools outside local authority control - to be called parent-led academies (PLAs).
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The chancellor now faces the prospect of forming a minority government or calling for a snap election.
The 73-year-old said a return is unlikely "given the politicised atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set."
Chancellor Philip Hammond said the UK will make a financial proposal to the EU in the next three-and-a-half weeks.