Cutting it fine

September 30, 2005

The stopwatches were out to time Education Secretary Ruth Kelly's appearance at a reception hosted by the Association of University Teachers, Natfhe and the National Union of Students at Labour's conference on Sunday. While officials said they were glad Ms Kelly had turned up at all, her visit was clocked at between four and six minutes. Time enough to learn that her conference speech - due to be delivered midweek - had been through 15 drafts. One well-placed source revealed that within all those revisions, only two lines about higher education made the cut.

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