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Brolly good

It is one thing leaving your umbrella on the train, but quite another to have it stolen in the corridors of power. Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, says his own quality device was snatched when he visited 11 Downing Street for a recent meeting.

"I left it in the hat stand and it was gone when I returned. The one I found in its place was nowhere near as good," he moaned after his trip chez Brown.

And it looks like it will not be long before the former head is lurking around the gates of Downing Street once more. When Tony Blair goes, the bass-playing Mr Brookes plans to invite the former Ugly Rumours guitarist to join his band, The Rockets. "I think it would work out quite well," he said.

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