Gove forced to apologise over school errors

Education Secretary apologises for 25 errors in schools building programme list.

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has been forced to apologise for a series of errors in a list about schools building programmes in England which are being scrapped. In heated Commons exchanges, Gove was attacked by Labour MPs who said the 25 errors in the list were "intolerable" and "astonishing".

The coalition's decision to abolish the Building Schools for the Future programme means 715 schools will see their rebuilding projects cancelled. Several schools which thought their building plans had been saved have now been told they are being axed.

Gove told the Speaker: "I'm grateful to you and to the whole House for granting me the opportunity to make this statement, and once again to unreservedly apologise."

Gove's statement came after the shadow education minister, Vernon Coaker, demanded that he apologise to MPs in person. "The chaos and confusion around this statement was frankly astonishing," he said.

He called for Gove to be "dragged kicking and screaming to this House to apologise" and said he should apologise "to the country for shattering the dreams and hopes of so many pupils and schools".

Labour MP Tom Watson shouted out that Gove was a "miserable pipsqueak" and was ordered to withdraw the remark by the Speaker.