Details of bonkers Education Secretary Michael Gove’s epic struggle against time-travelling left-wing historians from the future, hell bent on revising history as we know it, have finally been made public. “Incredible as it might seem, these Trotskyites aren’t satisfied with merely indoctrinating generations of young people with their highly biased and misleading interpretations of history,” he breathlessly told the Daily Mail earlier this week. “Now their descendants are using time-travel technology from the future to go back in time and actually try to alter significant historical events so as to bend history to their evil purposes!” To the incredulity of political allies and opponents alike, the top Tory is claiming that, in an attempt to discredit the British Empire, these time travelling academics have gone back and altered the past to create incidents of abuse and exploitation of native subjects by Imperial officials. “When I was a lad at prep school we didn’t hear about any of this nonsense in history lessons,” he told the Mail. “Back then, we all knew that the Empire had been a great and beneficial entity, bringing education, democracy and prosperity to millions of poor natives around the world, who otherwise would have been living in mud huts, wearing animal skins and chasing each other with spears. It’s quite obvious that these pinkoes have subsequently been back in time to rewrite history, creating all those massacres, all that torture and inhumanity that history teachers poison the minds of our children with these days.”

Not surprisingly, there have been many objections raised as to his claims, not least from the world of science fiction. “How could he possibly know that history had been changed? Anyone who has read any of the time travel classics will know that changing anything in the past alters the whole time line – nobody can recall the ‘original’ time line because it now no longer exists,” celebrated science fiction author Jack C. Rabbett explained to a bemused Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight in the wake of Gove’s Daily Mail interview. “In addition, there’s the question of the ‘time paradox’ – namely that by going back in time and altering the past, the time traveller’s own history is altered, removing the thing they went back to change, therefore eliminating, in their own time, the reason for them going back in time. Obviously, if they then don’t go back in time, the original time line reasserts itself! Unless, of course, they’re part of an organisation that somehow exists ‘outside’ of time, as in Asimov’s classic End of Eternity.” Gove has quickly responded to these criticisms, pointing out that he is talking about reality, not science fiction. “The masses might be deceived by these revisions to history,” he told the Mail on Sunday in a subsequent interview. “But they are exactly the sort of credulous people who read the fantasy nonsense written by the likes of Mr Rabbett. The reality is that those of us who have had the benefit of a public school classical education have the strength of character to resist these alterations and continue to perceive the true history!”

Gove also claims that he has physical proof of the existence of the time travelling Marxist historians. “I’ve seen photographs taken at the time of the Amritsar Massacre in 1919 that clearly show one supposed British army officer wearing a digital watch and another talking on a mobile phone,” he insisted in the Mail on Sunday interview. “These are obviously time travelling agitators, there to give misinformation to General Dyer, probably telling him the demonstrators there were armed, thereby precipitating the killing of those innocent unarmed Indians!” The bonkers Education Secretary also believes that the time travelling left-wing academics are also behind the current perception of World War One having been a hellish nightmare which wasted the lives of millions on both sides. “As a boy, I remember speaking to elderly relatives and family friends who had experienced the Great War, on the home front mainly, and they remembered it as a wonderful time – lots of society balls, crowds cheering off train loads of soldiers as they left for the front and lots of enthusiasm for beating those beastly Bosch,” he recalled. “Of course there was the odd Zeppelin raid, but on the whole they enjoyed it – that’s why they called it the ‘Great War’ – it was terrific! Most of all, it was a great British victory! But somehow, since then, these evil lefties have been back in time and rewritten the whole thing, no doubt ensuring that our generals employed the wrong tactics and acted on the wrong intelligence. I’m sure they also completely invented most of the war poets!”

But it isn’t just the distant past that the time travellers are accused of revising. According to Gove, their revisionism is going on all of the time. “Just take this recent bout of bad weather – in reality it was nowhere near as bad as it now appears,” he bizarrely asserted to the Mail on Sunday. “In the true time line, there was no major flooding, people didn’t lose their homes and railway lines weren’t washed away. It was these time travelling leftists who altered things to discredit the government. They went back and altered the orders the Environment Agency were given, so that rivers weren’t dredged, not to mention changing budgetary documents so that it looked like our spending on flood defences had declined!” Gove even believes that he actually encountered some of the time travellers and was able to thwart at least part of their plans. “It was last Summer, I was on holiday in Somerset when I saw a couple of uncouth, working class types – the sort who looked like they might read The Guardian – dumping rubbish in a river, obviously trying to silt it up to cause flooding,” he excitedly informed the Mail. “Of course, like any good citizen, I tackled them – after a tussle they ran off. As they ran they suddenly seemed to just vanish – jumping back to their own time, no doubt!”

Many remain sceptical of Gove’s claims. “If these time travellers are real, then why does Mr Gove’s extreme right-wing government exist? Wouldn’t they just erase it from history and manipulate the past to create a socialist utopia throughout the ages?” asks Professor Ned Veruka, head of Banbury University’s history department. “In fact, why do they allow Gove to exist? Surely they could do us all a favour and remove him from history? Then again, perhaps they let him and this government exist as some kind of terrible warning to their students in the future as to the consequences of not altering the past.” Once again, the Tory minister is adamant that it is their collective superior public school intellects which have allowed the cabinet to resist the future socialists’ temporal alterations. He is also proposing to fight back against them, by developing a conservative time machine. “We’ve got the best brains in the world in this country,” he boasted to the Mail. “Which is why I’m proposing to fast-track the development of our own time machine – then we’ll give them a taste of their own medicine, travelling to the near future to rewrite their past!” According to a preliminary report, academic research funding has been so severely cut by the government that development of a time machine might have to be outsourced to China.