Guardian admits mistakes with Gove and CST piece

By Jennifer Lipman, January 30, 2012

The Guardian has admitted that the publication of a "misleading" article questioning funding for a Jewish security organisation on Holocaust Memorial Day was ill-timed.

The story about Education Secretary Michael Gove's connection to the Community Security Trust was posted online on Friday but was ready for publication before then.

The piece, which criticised Mr Gove for awarding funding to the CST because he acts on its advisory board, was heavily criticised across the board.

Mr Gove's rival, Ed Balls, wrote that while they often disagreed with each other, "on this one he's right: CST do a great job on security for Jewish schools".

CST and the Department for Education also defended Mr Gove, who is one of nearly 60 MPs, police and other public figures on the advisory board.

His department announced in December that the government would provide £2 million to fund security measures at Jewish schools. They said that the Permanent Secretary was "fully content that there was no conflict of interest".

A spokesman for CST said that the funding allocated by the Government was "to protect Jewish schools against terrorism. This is a real threat". A source close to Mr Gove said he was appalled that the Guardian would "attack any politician for funding the protection of Jewish children. It is even more extraordinary, and frankly offensive, to do it on Holocaust Memorial Day."

A Guardian spokesman said the piece was scheduled for publication on Thursday but "pushed back because of the volume of news that day".

"We should have spotted the unfortunate timing and regret any offence caused," he said.

The Guardian also issued a correction, after the original piece falsely alleged that CST retained funds to pay for school security guards.

Last updated: 2:59pm, January 30 2012