Miner problem solved

September 24, 2004

Kim Howells, renowned for his brutally frank opinions on everything from the Royal Family to rap music, was an unexpected choice to replace the diplomatic Alan Johnson as Higher Education Minister. But how many ministers enter a new department while under police investigation?

Dr Howells was being investigated after admitting in a recent BBC documentary that he destroyed union records during the miners' strike in the mid-1980s. This week, however, South Wales Police revealed that Dr Howells would not face charges - one less PR hiccup for the Department for Education and Skills to worry about.

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