The combined attacks by the Lib Dems and Labour are further weakening public support for Gove's project.
Michael Gove has centralised power without any kind of mediating local tier between schools and the government.
Just 28 per cent of free schools have reached their capacity for first year intake.
The plan to demolish the award-winning primary to build a free school shows contempt for parents and for children.
42 schools have opened in areas with "no forecast need" and only 19% of secondary places are in areas of "high or severe" need.
A new poll shows that just 27% of the public support the schools, down from 36% in mid-September.
Even if 90 per cent of Free Schools are brilliant, it is not okay to sacrifice 400 children in a process that was obviously foolish from the outset.
Almost half of English schools districts will soon have too few places for pupils. But free schools continue to open in areas with a surplus.
The education department cannot be expected to oversee more than 3,000 schools. We need local commissioners to act as champions for standards.
Stephen Twigg's speech was neither a capitulation to Gove’s agenda nor a ferocious reaction against it.