Coffee House

Exclusive: John Nash is the new schools minister

10 January 2013

The new schools minister is John Nash. He succeeds Lord Hill who has gone off to replace Tom Strathclyde as leader of the House of Lords.

Nash, a venture capitalist, is the sponsor of Pimlico Academy, one of the original Adonis academies, and has been a non-executive member of the Department for Education’s board for the past two years. This means that he already knows both the academy and departmental ropes. Given that he is close to Michael Gove and the other key figures in the department and part of what they are trying to do, there shouldn’t be much lost in transition.


I suspect that there’ll be a media squall over the fact that Nash and his wife have donated £300,000 to the Tories over the years. But the fact that Andrew Adonis involved him in the academies programme and that Pimlico was turned around in record time shows that he’s qualified for the job and more than just a deep-pocketed donor.

Nash is, I’m told, now ‘stepping away from all relevant business interests’. The Permanent Secretary is also putting measures in places to ensure that there’s no conflict between his philanthropic interests and his departmental job.

Nash’s appointment means that the loss of Lord Hill should have far less of an impact on the Department for Education than reformers feared it would. Nash understands the policy and has actually implemented it on the ground which is not something you can say about very many ministers.

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  • Framer

    Is he a Tory MP?

  • Chris Marshall

    It’s corruption. In any other walk of life it would lead to a prosecution.

    Mind you, the spectator is a magazine once edited by someone happy to connive to have someone beaten up, so I expect no better.

  • UlyssesReturns

    This is a good appointment to one of the few departments in this shockingly mediocre administration that is achieving real change. The fact that Nash is a donor is completely irrelevant. By the by, I see the exclusion of trolls doesn’t appear to apply to the 2 or 3 resident ones who are registered – note to Fraser Nelson: their absence encourages intelligent debate; their presence discourages even the doughtiest of us. I of course shall refuse to engage them in discourse and strongly suggest to other coffeehousers (Colonel!) to refrain also. If we do not feed them they will hopefully wither and piss off back to be with their fellow cretins at LabourLost.

  • Tom Tom

    John Nash former sidekick of David Cooksey at Advent, former lawyer… does not really matter who Cameron appoints, the basic tenet is that Everything is For Sale as in the 18th Century. We have a Spoils System and may as well face up to the fact that Government is Corrupt and Public Assets are simply to be plucked by the right Courtiers. The theatricality of elections has become more pronounced the less meaning they actually have. We live in an Oligarchy and should accept the fact

    • telemachus

      The education department is undoubtedly the worst bit with the doctrinaire hated Gove selling our country’s future down the tubes in the hope that he will be drafted in when Cameron cracks
      No chance

      • Colonel Mustard

        I don’t hate Gove and I suspect I’m not alone. I see him as doing a lot of good in a field that has been almost irrevocably damaged by socialist doctrine. If you must insist on using “we”, “us” and “our” in your trite propaganda please qualify that you mean is just the Labour party and their supporters.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Actually belay that. You are correct that he is “doctrinaire hated” in that those most wedded to socialist educational doctrine and the political indoctrination of children are those who hate him.

        • telemachus

          I do not represent the Labour party but recognise that there are more reasonable folks therein that the parties of the coalition
          Not only do we hate Gove but he is universally detested by the teaching profession who he insists on attacking rather than motivating
          And who suffers
          Our poor children
          And by extension our country’s future prosperity
          He is by far therefore the most dangerous man in this government

          • Colonel Mustard

            Politics is seldom the realm of reason but to make the statement that the Labour party contains “more reasonable folks” reveals (as if we did not already know it) not just your support and advocacy of that party but your bigotry towards other parties.

            The reason Gove is detested (and not universally as previous comments here have shown) by the teaching profession, including LEA’s, is because the majority of them are left wing if not fervent Labour party activists. And the unions they are members of are an integral part of the Labour party’s support.

            The thing I would most like to see introduced into education is real political impartiality.

            • Noa

              Basic literary and mathematical skills would need to be re-introduced first.
              But these are not needed for the training cadres being prepared for seasonal looting to augment their government benefits.

  • Archimedes

    “I suspect that there’ll be a media squall over the fact that Nash and his wife have donated £300,000 to the Tories over the years”

    Why? Because why someone that supports the Tories has been appointed as a minister in a Tory lead government? Maybe there will be, but I suspect that the public will find it a little odd. Who would it have been otherwise? A Labour MP?

    • Colonel Mustard

      Ah, bless. Donations to the Tories are almost criminal especially if they result in any perceived influence. The Labour party are of course exempt from any such inferences. It is one of the unfortunate consequences of the “Heads Labour wins, tails Tories lose” game played by the majority of the media.

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