Howard: I bunked off to play snooker

29th October 2004 at 01:00
Michael Howard, the Conservative leader has admitted playing truant to hang out in Jack's snooker hall in Llanelli.

In an interview with The TES, Mr Howard said he had no regrets about his antics in the 1950s, even though the Tories have repeatedly criticised the Labour government for failing to take tough enough action on truancy.

"I don't think it's done me any lasting damage," Mr Howard said. "Nor has it made me a snooker world champion."

He confessed that he used to leave the grounds of Llanelli grammar school at lunchtime with friends for the "nefarious purpose" of playing snooker.

Asked whether he had ever bunked off lessons to play the game, he said:

"There might have been some occasions when we left early of an afternoon."

In a speech to grammar school heads this year, Mr Howard said it was "tragic" that children had played truant a million times last year. So, was he concerned that his might send the message to children that they could skip classes and still become political party leaders and successful lawyers?

"I'm just being honest," he said. "I think truancy is a very bad thing and that firm action should be taken to deal with it."

Emyr Phillips, a friend of Mr Howard's at Llanelli grammar, recalled in an interview earlier this year that there had been "something of the truant" about him. He claimed that Mr Howard had begun to hone his legal techniques on occasions when the pair had been called before the head about their lunchtime absences.

Interview, News 4

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now