18th January 2013 at 00:00

Dozing at Daybreak

While former FE minister John Hayes was a relaxed and genial sort, his successor Matthew Hancock prefers to seize the day with an 8am start at work. But his early bird tendencies failed him last week, when he was due to appear on ITV's Daybreak to talk about traineeships.

According to the Daily Mail's political correspondent, Tim Shipman, Mr Hancock overslept and missed the interview slot - particularly embarrassing for a member of a government currently lambasting "skivers" who lie in bed while their neighbours struggle into work at dawn.

It was a detail not lost on Ian Pattison, of the trade union-backed campaign Youth Fight for Jobs and Education, who was due to debate with Mr Hancock.

"Can you imagine my surprise when I discovered a minister whose government berates so-called 'shirkers' couldn't be bothered to get out of bed to defend his own policy?" Mr Pattison said. "If the minister was a jobseeker, he could lose his benefits for up to three months for such an offence. Luckily, the Tory MP doesn't have to worry about things like that, as I'm sure he's more than happy with his meagre #163;97,000 salary, on top of the #163;43,230 he claimed last year in expenses."

Mr Hancock took to Twitter for a mea culpa: "I got 2 tv studio at 6:41 this am so missed 6:40 slot. You've got to be on time for work or there r consequences. I'll learn from my example." Text-speak from an education minister, tut tut.

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