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MINISTER AVOID'S MP'S CLEVER QUESTION.

The schools minister declined to answer a grammar question after being put on the spot by a North East Labour MP during his statement on Key Stage Two tests.

Nick Gibb told MPs he had "learned through bitter experience not to respond to that kind of provocation" after being questioned by Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman.

Mr Gibb received a ticking off last week after he apparently failed to differentiate between a preposition and a subordinating conjunction while appearing on BBC Radio 4's World At One.

David Cameron was also challenged by Parliament's only Green MP to answer a series of grammar questions for 11-year-olds during last week's Prime Minister's Questions.

Mr Cameron insisted he was "absolutely delighted" his three children would face the controversial tests, as he was put on the spot by Caroline Lucas, but did not give a response to the teaser.

Asking a question following Mr Gibb's statement yesterday, Ms Goodman said: "Last Wednesday the Prime Minister was not able to tell the House his definition of a modal verb, what the past progressive tense is, or to distinguish a subordinating conjunctive from a co-ordinating conjunctive. "I want to give the minister a second chance. In the sentence 'my baby was born in hospital, in the hospital where my father works', are the words 'where my father works' a preposition phrase, a relative clause, a main clause or a noun phrase?" To laughter on the Labour benches, Mr Gibb responded: "Well it's a very clever, clever question she asks, but I have learned through bitter experience not to respond to that kind of provocation."

CAPTION(S):

<BBishop Auckland Labour MP Helen Goodman saw her awkward question waved away by the minister in the House of Commons yesterday

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 11, 2016
Words:291
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