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By appointment

The seals of office are not always handed over as formally as might be imagined, as Peter Peacock was recalling in his TESS interview (page three).

Summoned in 1999 to meet Donald Dewar, the late First Minister, who was known to be fond of his grub, Peacock found him in the corridor, sandwich in one hand and looking for something else to eat.

Having already appointed his old friend Sam Galbraith to be education minister, Dewar told Peacock: "I want you to go to education, I want you to look after Sam because he's not very well and I'm going to give you lots of money - spend it wisely." And that was that.

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