Paul Uppal (Wolverhampton South West, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many applications to establish free schools his Department has received from groups in the West Midlands.
Nick Gibb (Minister of State (Schools), Education; Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, Conservative)
To date the Department has received 16 proposals to set up free schools from groups in the West Midlands.16 'free schools' across a population of 5 million. Well done the West Midlands for resisting this socially divisive, selfish and reactionary idea. I bet half of these proposals are from religious bigots and the rest from snobs who don't want their children mixing with the poor or black.
(His other question was equally pointless: essentially, does the minister agree that organ donation is a good thing and should be encouraged, together with something about 'local co-ordination' of donor services - obviously I wouldn't want an organ from a southerner or a Brummie - which the minister brushed aside with the usual litany: we're great, everything's going to be great blah blah blah).
He'd better hope there's a reshuffle in the next four years, because Dark Place South West is going to be a Labour seat when the poor and dispossessed get their chance to vote in 2015. If he doesn't make Junior Bag Carrier to the Minister for Paperclips soon, he never will.