The Daily Mirror on Tuesday featured a letter from Fred Jones, former leader of Newham Council who was succeeded by Mr Timms in 1990. He was objecting to the Mirror's characterization of the minister (who has friends very high up in Downing Street, apparently) as Herman Munster.
"Herman Munster might be stupid, but he was friendly, straightforward and showed consideration to others," Mr Jones fumed. "On Little Ilford council estate, part of his constituency, Timms is known as Lurch - the sinister character from The Addams Family".
This all left the diary confused about which nickname we should give this undeniably evocative minister. We decided to contact Mr Timms to find out which tag he preferred, but his minions would not even put the question to him.