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Lichen eyes of a lost minister

Jim Kelly, the Financial Times education correspondent-turned-mystery writer has told the Diary that while producing his new novel The Fire Baby he was struggling to avoid a striking similarity between a key character called "Estelle" and Estelle Morris, the much- missed former education secretary. "Estelle" is described in the newly-published book thus: "Her slim, athletic body squeezed into a pair of stone-washed jeans ... Her hair was a trendy blonde bob ... The unmarked, olive skin held a bloom in both cheeks; the eyes a sensational lichen green. She could have been looking out of a sixth-form end-of-term picture."

Did Mr Kelly spy something the rest of us missed?

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