Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read posts from today, including the missing news from Africa, Labour’s NHS silence an

1. The history we're missing: stories from Africa

Lindsey Hilsum highlights three stories from Africa that have gone nearly unnoticed by the international media.

2. What does a pro-poor school admissions system look like?

At the Telegraph, Julian Astle notes that there are big differences between KIPP schools in the US and academies in the UK.

3. Could the NHS bill end up hurting Labour's prospects?

Liberal Conspiracy's Sunny Hundal says that Labour risks being entirely left out of the debate over the NHS.

4. Times releases OECD transcripts

The OECD tried to distance itself from yesterday's Times article, which indicated that it was having doubts about the government's austerity measures. Mark Ferguson of LabourList shares the transcript of the interview.

5. No touching

Over at Marbury, Ian Leslie shares a picture of Barack Obama showing Dominique Strauss-Kahn where the boundaries lie.

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Michael Gove definitely didn't betray anyone, says Michael Gove

What's a disagreement among friends?

Michael Gove is certainly not a traitor and he thinks Theresa May is absolutely the best leader of the Conservative party.

That's according to the cast out Brexiteer, who told the BBC's World At One life on the back benches has given him the opportunity to reflect on his mistakes. 

He described Boris Johnson, his one-time Leave ally before he decided to run against him for leader, as "phenomenally talented". 

Asked whether he had betrayed Johnson with his surprise leadership bid, Gove protested: "I wouldn't say I stabbed him in the back."

Instead, "while I intially thought Boris was the right person to be Prime Minister", he later came to the conclusion "he wasn't the right person to be Prime Minister at that point".

As for campaigning against the then-PM David Cameron, he declared: "I absolutely reject the idea of betrayal." Instead, it was a "disagreement" among friends: "Disagreement among friends is always painful."

Gove, who up to July had been a government minister since 2010, also found time to praise the person in charge of hiring government ministers, Theresa May. 

He said: "With the benefit of hindsight and the opportunity to spend some time on the backbenches reflecting on some of the mistakes I've made and some of the judgements I've made, I actually think that Theresa is the right leader at the right time. 

"I think that someone who took the position she did during the referendum is very well placed both to unite the party and lead these negotiations effectively."

Gove, who told The Times he was shocked when Cameron resigned after the Brexit vote, had backed Johnson for leader.

However, at the last minute he announced his candidacy, and caused an infuriated Johnson to pull his own campaign. Gove received just 14 per cent of the vote in the final contest, compared to 60.5 per cent for May. 


Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.