Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has stopped her occasional political column for the Leicester Mercury after the paper published a story saying she hadn’t ruled out sending her child to private school.
The Mercury was following up on comments first published in The Sun on 2 February where Morgan, MP for Loughborough, said her eight-year-old son was “very happy at a local village primary school” in Leicester but did not know where he would go next.
The paper’s tell-all Fred Leicester column, run by an anonymous staff member, revealed Morgan had “withdrawn her labour” over the matter.
“It wasn't our story. But we followed it up,” the column said. “That seemed like the right thing to do. Mrs Morgan's boy was at a "local primary school now" and that was fine, she said, but she "didn't know" where he would go after that.
“I'm not sure if that would have been a story if this was about a run-of-the-mill backbench Tory MP.
"But it becomes a story if you are the secretary of state for education. Because it sends out a conflicting message, doesn't it -'these schools that I am in charge of may be all right for you and your children – but maybe not for mine’.”
Morgan, who has held a seat in parliament since 2010 and the portfolio for education since 2014, told The Sun: "As a parent, you must do what's right for your children – which is the same decision we ask parents up and down the country to make every day.”
She added: “People's families haven't asked to be elected, or to be in the public eye.”
Morgan has yet to comment after being approached by Press Gazette.