Guest who?

March 7, 1997

Life isn't simple for anyone planning to invite politicians to events in the autumn, and things are especially tricky if they have to deal with the Department for Education and Employment. Take someone who wants to run a higher education conference in November.

Last week he called the department and asked a simple question: forgetting for a moment about the election, who is higher education minister now? Reply: "We don't know but we'll call you back." The phone rang half an hour later, and the message was clear - our higher education minister is Eric Forth. Pity about the mix-up, since Lord Henley, who actually has the job, is one of the few ministers who does not have to face a spring judgement day from the electorate.

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