The Scarlet Kim-pernel

October 1, 2004

The failure of higher education to make a big impact at this year's Labour Party conference is not helped by the low profile of Kim Howells, the new Higher Education Minister. Interview requests with the minister are being declined on the basis that he is still "reading up" on his new portfolio (or learning how to deflect awkward questions), and he has failed to fulfil a number of the speaking commitments made by his predecessor, Alan Johnson. He did not turn up to Universities UK's power breakfast on Tuesday, despite reports of sightings of the elusive minister in the building on Monday night.

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