James O'Brien is Leading Britain's Conversation.
6 May 2016, 14:45
Shelagh Fogarty gives senior Tory Eric Pickles a grilling over the government's climbdown on turning all schools into academies, announced today.
Plans to force all of England's schools to become academies are being abandoned in a government climbdown.
So when Pickles joined Shelagh on the phone today to react to the election results, Shelagh had a simple question for him.
"How is your party, and the government, going to explain the fact that just days ago the Education Secretary stood in front of the Association of Head Teachers explain why academisation for every school was the answer to educational standards in this country and today we hear there are plans to abandon that policy?" asked Shelagh.
Pickles told her: "That's a dilemma isn't it, of a politician. You're either unlistening and you don't do anything or it's a u-turn."
"So it's a u-turn?" asked Shelagh.
"You're just making my point for me!" replied Pickles. "I was just pouring scorn on both those extreme positions."
"Well hang on I'm sorry, I'm not having that. If you push and push and push and push a policy...and then you say after a bit of pressure, let's not, that is a u-turn
"Don't call that strange, that is a u-turn!"