21st September 2012 at 01:00

Minister follows in the footsteps of greatness

If the gushing praise lavished upon former FE minister John Hayes after his appointment to the position of energy minister is anything to go by, his successor Matthew Hancock has a tough act to follow.

But if Mr Hancock's interview in The Spectator last week is anything to go by, the good people of FE have nothing to fear. In fact, we should probably be grateful that he has deemed to grace us with his presence at all.

It seems that, rather than fretting about his performance in relation to his predecessor, Mr Hancock prefers to consider himself in relation to altogether more illustrious political figures.

The former greats name-dropped by the MP for West Suffolk included William Pitt the younger, who became Britain's youngest prime minister in the late 18th century at the age of just 24; Benjamin Disraeli, who took on the job in the late 19th century; and even wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill.

When a journalist put to him the criticism that the Conservative Party is full of young career politicians with little life experience, Mr Hancock was unapologetic.

"Well, I remind people that Winston Churchill is widely regarded as one of the finest statesmen our country has ever seen," he said.

"Likewise William Pitt became prime minister in his twenties, and both of these men achieved great heights over their careers."

He also professed to have a "huge affinity for Disraeli, not least because I come from a provincial background and went to the local village school and have arrived latterly in Westminster".

FErret has a huge affinity for meerkats, not least because he and they are both furry mammals, but you wouldn't catch him putting on a dodgy Russian accent and trying to flog car insurance.

Perhaps you'd be better off getting settled in to the FE backwater before setting out your bid to run the country, eh Matthew?

"Disraeli. Churchill. Hancock. The Holy Trinity of Conservative Party history," one wag tweeted in response to the article. "Jumped up little turd," added another, with a modicum less wit.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today