Cliff Lawton, the Minister for Social Affairs, is having a meeting with Number Ten’s Chief Political Advisor, Malcolm Tucker. There have been press rumours that the Minister is to be sacked. Lawton is told that none of these stories have come from Number Ten.
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Hugh Abbot, Minister for Social Affairs, complains about how tired and overworked he is as Terri Coverley the Press Officer dumps another hefty pile of Departmental press releases on his desk. His inability to keep the pace has been reflected in a profile piece that antagonistic journalist Simon Hewitt has penned about him. Hewitt calls Abbot ‘out of his depth... disconnected to the point of autism.’ Abbot and his Department decide that the best tactic of defence is a new policy announcement - something a bit ‘funky’.
Tomorrow is the final day of the report stage of Hugh Abbot’s Housing Bill in the Commons, and everything is going splendidly. But envy is brewing in the Department over the media attention that charming Junior Minister Dan Miller is receiving for his input on the Bill, leaving Abbot starved of the limelight.