Home Secretary Theresa May has raised concerns about the Department for Education's handling of allegations of extremism in Birmingham schools.
The inspection of 21 schools in Birmingham, in the wake of the so-called Trojan Horse allegations, was a response to claims of a takeover strategy by a hardline Muslim group.
Now, the Home Secretary has asked Education Secretary Michael Gove about claims that his department had been made aware of allegations back in 2010 and Birmingham Council two years earlier than that.
In a letter, Mrs May said: “The allegations relating to schools in Birmingham raise serious questions about the quality of school governance and oversight arrangements.”
She also probed whether it was true that Birmingham City Council was warned about these allegations in 2008 and that the Department for Education was warned in 2010. Mrs May, is now demanding answers to these questions and why action was not taken sooner.
Mr Gove believes there has been a plot by extremist Muslims to take over schools in Birmingham and feels that there is reluctance to tackle the issue in government departments, especially the Home Office.
But now, a Home Office source has stated that Mr Gove is trying to make it someone else's problem and that it’s the Department for Education’s responsibility for what goes on in schools, not the Home Office.
Public rows within the coalition government happen every day, however this row is different because two Conservative cabinet ministers are at the centre of it.
But the pair insisted they are united and both Mr Gove and Mrs May have pledged that they are working together on the issue.
In a statement, they said: “The Department for Education and the Home Office take the problems in Birmingham schools and all issues relating to extremism very seriously.
“Michael Gove and Theresa May are working together to ensure we get to the bottom of what has happened in Birmingham and take the necessary steps to fix it.”
There are plans for all the ‘Trojan Horse’ inspection findings to be published while individual schools, with positive outcomes, have also begun to publish their own report findings.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "The allegations made in relation to some schools in Birmingham are very serious and we are investigating all evidence put to us in conjunction with Ofsted, Birmingham City Council and the police.
“It is absolutely vital these investigations are carried out impartially, without pre-judgment. Ofsted has inspected a number of schools in the light of recent allegations and will report to the secretary of state shortly.
“Retired senior police officer Peter Clarke has been asked by the secretary of state to make a full inquiry into Birmingham schools and will report back this summer.”