Steerpike

Nadhim’s first day no-show

Nadhim's first day no-show
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Politics is all about priorities and the new Cabinet has certainly shown that. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is hunting among hacks for a new media special adviser, keen to conscript a lieutenant to fight the Tory culture wars. Liz Truss and Dominic Raab are divided over who gets to use the Foreign Office home Chevening – a spectacle that must bring back memories for Geoffrey Howe's widow Elspeth. Conor Burns meanwhile celebrated his new Northern Ireland brief with a packet of Tayto crisps. 

Nadhim Zahawi however did not have the best first day in post as Education Secretary. The MP for Stratford-on-Avon was last night due to be guest of honour at the speech day of King Edward VI School in his constituency, an event that has been in the calendar for months. But the newly promoted minister marked – or rather marred – the occasion by playing truant, leaving staff and governors to wait red-faced at the entrance. Steerpike understands he did not tell the school that he would be skipping the bash, with the ceremony eventually forced to start without him. Headmaster Bennet Carr remarked to Mr S that the no-show was an ‘unfortunate turn of events.’

A Department of Education spokesman confirmed that: 'due to the changes to Cabinet portfolios on Wednesday evening, the Education Secretary was unexpectedly unable to attend a previously arranged constituency visit to King Edward VI School the next day. His constituency office is rescheduling the visit and he is looking forward to seeing staff and students. As Education Secretary, he has said he will be meeting as many people working in education as possible, visiting our nurseries, schools, colleges and universities around the country.'

Skipping school on the first day? Let's hope Zahawi is a fast learner.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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