Letter gives game away

23rd January 1998 at 00:00
The top of the letter, which is in Mr Ward's handwriting, reads as follows:

"From: Mike Blagden

To: Derek Coomber, David Kissman, Colin Daniels, Jim Scrimshaw, Howard Phelps" and to the right of a bracket round the names are the words "(a) Home Addresses (b) on Southgate paper (c) Lyn of CEF will type and distribute if required"

The main text then reads:

"Dear -- "ABC (1996) BOARD NOMINATION PAPERS

"At our CEF May Board meeting we discussed the timetable for nomination papers to the new ABC (1996) Board. You may recall that they must be in the hands of John Hall of Eversheds by no later than May 31. Preferably each individual's manifesto and related paperwork should be complete within the next few days.

"To remind you. In addition to your 200-word manifesto you will need another college to propose you and one to second you. Ideally, in order to maximise support, these two colleges should not include your own.

"Finally you require five additional colleges to be named as supporters. This can be very important. " Here Mr Ward crosses out the sentence; "I am only too pleased to assist in this process if so requested."

Mr Ward continues: "You may wish to include at least one Agricultural College, one low ALF (average level of funding) and one high ALF college as well as a nationwide spread (only colleges from England please, Wales is a separate constituency).

"I am sure your Principal will be only too pleased to assist. If in addition I may be of help in advising on extra colleges for support please do not hesitate to contact me either at home (add MB's home tel.) or Southgate College. You may also contact me via the CEF office.

"Kindest regards."

Mr Ward begins to sign his own name, crosses it out, and signs it :Mike Blagden.

Once Mr Ward was appointed chief executive a priority was to find him a deputy. There were two candidates, John Brennan, of the former AfC, and Sue Dutton, from the CEF. Ms Dutton got the job. The interview panel consisted of Roger Ward and Michael Blagden.

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