- Inquiry grilled Gove on his links to News Corp subsidiary
- Claims he never heard of company until Guardian article
- But spent two days with company boss months prior
Despite his close links with Rupert Murdoch’s companies, Michael Gove told the Leveson Inquiry that he had never heard of News Corporation’s education subsidiary, Wireless Generation, until it was mentioned in a newspaper:
“I didn’t know anything about that company until I read about it in the Guardian.”
This claim seems at odds with the known chronology of events. According to the Guardian website, their first article on Wireless Generation was published in May 2011 — but Michael Gove had already spent a significant period of time with company boss Joel Klein earlier that year.
Klein was brought to News Corp as an executive vice president in November 2010, charged with getting them into the education industry. Just two weeks later they acquired Wireless Generation for $360m.
As we can see from an internal Whitehall itinerary, published below by Political Scrapbook, Klein spent the best part of two days with Michael Gove, including a visit to an academy school in London (above). The pair seemed to bond, with Klein proclaiming Gove a “hero” after the education secretary sent him a thoughtful gift.
Conducted in early 2011, a Google or Google News search for “Joel Klein” would have returned manifold references to Wireless Generation.
- Was Wireless Generation really absent from civil service briefings on Klein?
- In the hours they spent together, did Klein never once mention a $360m marquee acquisition which was integral to News Corp’s education strategy?
The questions don’t stop with Leveson.