A Labour MP has called for education secretary Michael Gove and his advisers to be hauled before a Commons select committee.

Ian Mearns, a member of the education committee, said Gove and Dominic Cummings, his special adviser, needed to be asked about "smears" and personal attacks on journalists.

Asked about Mearns' call, committee chairman Graham Stuart told The Huffington Post UK: "The committee will consider that suggestion in due course."

But it was dismissed by a Tory member of the committee, who said it would be a "waste of time."

It comes after an email from Cummings to a journalist from the Independent was published. In it, he implied the reporter needed therapy and accused him of writing a "comically unprofessional hit job".

The combative @toryeducation Twitter feed, which describes itself as a 'pantomime villain of leftie education folk', has also been criticised by the Observer newspaper, which accused it of personally attacking its political editor.

In an article for the Labour List website, Mearns wrote: "Given the discipline of advisers is the personal responsibility of the Secretary of State, I believe it is high time the Education Select Committee was able to question both the education secretary and his special advisers so we can get to the bottom of exactly what is going on."

But Chris Skidmore, a Conservative MP who also sits on the committee, said: "There are enough important issues to scrutinise without wasting the committee's time on what are Department of Education internal and employment lssues."