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Making plans for Nigel

Last week, the Diary brought you the shocking news that David Blunkett had jovially threatened to break the legs of the leader of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Teachers. The threat came in response to the union's proposal to withdraw cover for missing staff.

Now it emerges Mr de Gruchy has decided to spice things up by sending the Education Secretary unsolicited job rejections. It all started with Mr Blunkett insisting that a buoyant laour market meant that it wasn't just schools that were having problems recruiting. "I would even be interested to know how many vacancies there are in the NASUWT," he told MPs.

Mr de Gruchy fired off a reply: "Dear David, thank you for your expression of interest." The NASUWT, he was sorry to say, had no vacancies at present:

"I am sure you have a very bright future in Government." That's the thing about our Nigel, he just loves to be liked.

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