It is being reported that Graham Brady, the Shadow Minister for Europe and former Shadow Schools Minister, has been "severely reprimanded" by the Chief Whip for making comments on grammar schools, outside his brief. A party spokeswoman said: "Graham has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Whip and told to stick to his brief."
Graham was quoted in The Times this morning saying...
"I accept the party's policy on grammar schools. But it is vitally important that policy should be developed with a full understanding of all of these facts, which might lead to the introduction of selection in other ways, including partial selection in academies and other schools."
Brady, a former grammar school pupil, has been a staunch defender of grammar schools in his constituency and was among the first Tories to challenge the party leadership's decision to drop a commitment to bring back the system, under which pupils were selected by ability.
I am not surprised that the Chief Whip should have had 'a word' with Graham but for an anonymous party press spokeswoman to make this public is intolerable. It's tantamount to encouraging him to fall on his sword.
Graham Brady has been an excellent Shadow Minister, both at education and now with the European portfolio. The Party would take leave of its collective senses if it allowed this to escalate any further.