Chancellor George Osborne provoked a bitter rebuke from his Lib Dem colleagues after he credited the idea for the pupil premium to education secretary Michael Gove.
In his speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester today, Mr Osborne listed a raft of policies that he claimed were thanks to his fellow Conservatives in the Cabinet.
On education he said: “The pupil premium to support the most disadvantaged children: that was Michael Gove’s idea, front and centre of the last Conservative manifesto.”
While, there is no doubt that the pupil premium was included in the Tory manifesto before the last election, it has widely been accepted that the idea for an additional sum of money to go to students in receipt of free school meals not only came from the Lib Dems, but was the idea of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
In a response to Mr Osborne’s speech earlier today, a Lib Dem source told TES: “George Osborne could do with a history lesson. Liberal Democrats went into the last election promising a £2.5 billion pupil premium – exactly what the coalition has delivered. The Conservatives pledged a pupil premium worth an extra £0.
"The pupil premium has been Liberal Democrat policy for years. Now we are in government we are very proud of the difference it is making in the hands of brilliant schools and teachers up and down the country," the source added.
It is understood Mr Clegg first put forward the idea of a pupil premium back in 2002.