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Pure minister won't take any ****

Judging by The Thick of It, BBC4's riveting new political comedy, ministers' private offices are as blue with foul language as a football pitch with Wayne Rooney on it. But the Diary is pleased to report that Beverley Hughes, the new Children's Minister, is striking a blow for clean language Ms Hughes has banned swearing in her office. This has come as a bit of a shock to her staff after their time under her vivid-tongued predecessor, Margaret Hodge.

But what the Diary wants to know is: what are the penalties for breaching the ban? 10p for "shit", 50p for worse, all proceeds to go to city academies?

The Diary hopes that it is something more old-fashioned, in line with Ms Hughes's wholesome air. Wash their mouths out with soap, Beverley. It's the only language those officials will understand.

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