20070518howardspiked_3 Rumours around the Westminster village yesterday suggested that today would see an article appear in The Telegraph in which Michael Howard would question the new Tory policy on grammar schools.  I was told that The Telegraph was "excited" by the piece. 

A member of Michael Howard’s office confirmed the existence of the article yesterday morning.  When David Cameron’s office heard the same rumours they rushed to persuade Mr Howard to dilute the article.  The operation was so successful that Simon Heffer has declined to publish it.  The episode is only the latest example of the difficult Telegraph-Cameron relationship – brought into focus again yesterday by WebCameron’s attack on the "near hysterical" Telegraph.

A YouGov poll in this morning’s Telegraph found that 49% of voters support a mixture of grammar schools and secondary moderns.  Support increases to 71% amongst Tory voters – a figure nearly identical to ConservativeHome’s January 2006 finding that 73% of members oppose David Cameron’s ‘no more grammars’ pledge.

The Times notes that David Willetts sought to defuse MPs’ anger by offering to "repeal laws that allow parents to vote to scrap existing grammar schools".

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