Michael Gove has lost his job as Education Secretary as part of the Prime Minister David Cameron's 'pale, male and stale' Cabinet reshuffle.
Mr Gove is to become the new chief whip and has been replaced by Treasury minister Nicky Morgan. Announcing Michael Gove's surprise move, Mr Cameron said on his Twitter feed that the former education secretary would also have 'an enhanced role in campaigning and doing broadcast media interviews'.
He has been one of the most radical and at times controversial figures in David Cameron's Government, driving through far reaching changes to the education system such as free schools and the extension of the academy programme.
His calls for a return to more traditional teaching methods and war on the educational establishment have brought him into conflict with the unions.
According to the BBC News channel's chief political correspondent Norman Smith, his replacement by the relatively unknown Nicky Morgan could be seen as an attempt to calm things down. She is also a woman, a rare creature in Cabinet.
Cameron appeared to deny any idea that the reshuffle was prompted by Gove's rocky tenure as education kingpin, tweeting cheerily about the exciting opportunities Gove can look forward to in his new role as Chief Whip.
Michael Gove is Commons Chief Whip. He'll have an enhanced role in campaigning and doing broadcast media interviews. #Reshuffle.
- David Cameron (@David_Cameron) July 15, 2014
Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of OFSTED, received the news of Gove's departure live on radio station LBC. The announcement appeared to come as a surprise to Wilshaw, who nonetheless managed to pull together an off-the-cuff tribute to the departing Education Secretary.
"He's passionate about education, passionate about raising standards in this country, passionate about raising standards for poor children and those are issues that I am very concerned about as well," Wilshaw said on air.
"He's been a radical transformer who speaks his mind and that hasn't gone down well with some people. But I think the reforms he has introduced since he been Secretary of State will be lasting ones."
However, Mr Gove's departure has been widely welcomed elsewhere, especially by teachers, one of whom, Lucy Fey, is leaving the classroom after 14 years and wrote a scathing open letter to Mr Gove in which she details teachers' frustrations at his policies.
She wrote: "Until recently, I was not adept at data analysis. I now know that the pupils we are teaching are not simply children, they are numbers, percentages."
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: "David Cameron has, belatedly, realised that Michael Gove's ideological drive is no substitute for measured, pragmatic reform of the education system.
"Successful education systems value the views of the teaching profession, which Gove insulted when he called them 'the blob'. ATL looks forward to a more constructive relationship with his successor, Nicky Morgan."
Other critics took to Twitter to applaud Mr Gove's departure and turned his move into a trending topic. Here's a selection of the best responses so far.
No. 10 confirms sacked Education Secretary Michael Gove will not be a full member of the Cabinet. So he's basically just a Supply Minister.
- John O'Farrell (@mrjohnofarrell) July 15, 2014
But in good news, Michael Gove is no longer the education secretary. What next for Gove? Secretary of Stayathomeandtrynottoruinanythingelse?
- Jimmy Sims (@jimmyplaysbass) July 15, 2014
I hope Michael Gove hasn't forgotten to take his sterling GCSE English curriculum home with him. pic.twitter.com/k9l0WvLeX8
- Sophie Hall (@SophLouiseHall) July 15, 2014
Just heard Michael Gove described as a "victim of the reshuffle" Not sure victim is the first word many would use
- Marcus Green (@MarcusInStroud) July 15, 2014
- M E B (@mrsmosieposie) July 15, 2014
More on Parentdish: Nicky Morgan: Everything you need to know about Michael Gove's replacement
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more