Michel Gove‘s “upgrade” plan is the subject of mockery after it emerged that parts of it appear to have been copied from Wikipedia.
The white paper, published on Wednesday, also contains glaring publishing errors – with whole paragraphs repeated in bulk.
Opposition parties said the document appeared to have been “hastily cobbled together” and “recycled” from the internet and other government announcements.
The white paper includes large sections of padding, with three pages devoted to the history of Jericho, Rome, and Renaissance Europe.
But parts of this section appear to have been taken directly from the popular internet encyclopedia.
A shifted portion of the report reads: “Constantinople was the capital of the Roman/Byzantine Empire (330-1204 and 1261-1453), the Latin Empire (1204-1261) and the Ottoman Empire (1453 -1922)”.
The text is identical to the first line of the Constantinople Wikipedia page, down to formatting and punctuation.
Another section of the report includes a full-page timeline of the largest cities in the world since 7,000 BC, identical to a table on Wikipedia’s “List of largest cities in history” page.
Elsewhere, a paragraph about the history of the ancient city of Jerico is repeated twice on the same page – apparently not picked up by reviewers.
The contents of the report have been criticized by opposition parties for lacking substance, with Labor suggesting that much of it has been “repackaged, re-packaged and recycled”.
In terms of policy substance, eight of the document’s 12 “missions” are also the same as those included in Theresa May’s industrial strategy, which was published four years ago and then scrapped by the government.
The government says the plan will help improve left-behind parts of the country – although it provided few details on how this would be achieved in practice, and no new money to replace the deep cuts made by the government. since coming to power in 2010.
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Liberal Democrat Communities spokesman Tim Farron told The Independent: ‘The Leveling Up white paper read like something that has been hastily cobbled together, with no mention of rural communities that have long been forgotten by this government, so it’s not at all surprising to see whole sections taken from Wikipedia.
“The Conservatives can’t even muster the effort to invest properly in some of our most deprived areas, so anything short of cut and paste would have exceeded expectations.
“But as always, this government cannot even reach the low bar it has set for itself. Their empty promises to families facing a cost of living crisis are not worth the paper they are printed on. .”
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