Minister's dynamic double act

November 21, 2003

Apologising for education secretary Charles Clarke's absence at last week's Association of Colleges conference, higher education minister Alan Johnson said: "Charles and I like to come to events like this as a joint charm offensive - which usually involves me being charming and Charles being offensive." Meanwhile, the minister could spare only 40 minutes for the Universities UK "Knowledge Exchange" conference. He had to rush off for an appearance with UUK president Ivor Crewe on BBC2's Daily Politics . Mr Johnson quipped: "We're becoming known as the Ant and Dec of higher education."

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