Education ministers narrowly avoided a Commons showdown on scandal-hit Kings Science Academy yesterday – but probably only for a few more weeks.

The Speaker declined to allow an “urgent question” about the Bradford free school, which would have forced a minister to answer from the despatch box.

His officials declined to say why the request – tabled by George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bradford West – had been rejected.

But it is likely that John Bercow, the Speaker, decided too much time had passed since the report into the school was published, on October 25.

Mr Galloway announced he had put in for a Commons debate on the misuse of £86,335 of taxpayers’ cash at Kings Science Academy in Lidget Green of which nearly £77,000 is still unaccounted and is having to be paid back.

Meanwhile, Bradford East MP David Ward revealed Education Secretary Michael Gove had agreed to a face-to-face meeting on the scandal, on Tuesday, November 19.

The Lib Dem MP said he would be seeking answers about the role played by the Department for Education (Dfe).

The Telegraph & Argus has revealed that West Yorkshire Police was not asked to hold a fraud inquiry until six months after the evidence first emerged, last April.

Yet, the Dfe told MPs that the force was contacted by telephone on April 25 and that it had been decided that “no further action was necessary”. Mr Ward urged a focus on the “key personal involvement of Alan Lewis, a vice-chairman of the Conservative party”, the school’s benefactor.

Mr Ward said: “There was a complete lack of scrutiny over how millions of pounds of public money was spent. I will be working with colleagues in the party to ensure we campaign for better financial scrutiny of free schools in the future.”

The MP also hopes to persuade the powerful Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to investigate the scandal. The DfE has denied a cover-up.