By Tim Montgomerie
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He told me this:
"Michael had planned to give a big speech on Thursday on social mobility. However, he cancelled it because of the growing leadership chatter. He didn’t want this.
People have misunderstood our problems in the education sector and what we’ve done. There is too much irrational optimism. We still have major problems and we haven’t done nearly well enough, and the things we have done well are not things we want to talk about.
Michael has always told me the same thing – he doesn’t think he has the right sort of character to be leader and he will not go for it. After speaking to him at the weekend, I am sure that remains his view. Michael said, “Tell everyone not to waste a second thinking about it, I’m not right for it and I’m not going to do it. Hopefully we’re going to be in the DfE until 2015, we’ve got a huge amount to do and that’s what I want you to stay focused on."
There are other big political projects he would be interested in after education – like fundamental change to our relationship with Europe – but we are focused only on schools."