My secret workload lover

19th September 2003 at 01:00
There was plenty of loving at the launch of the workload deal in January.

Readers may remember photos of a grinning Charles Clarke holding hands with embarrassed-looking union leaders to symbolise a newfound brotherly love.

It was all a bit forced, but little did we know that under the workload agreement table were two hands truly aching to hold each other. Two of the civil servants involved in drawing up the agreement, deputy Dfes director Stephen Hillier and policy adviser Gillian Langford, have announced they are getting hitched next summer, after wooing each other over the fine print.

The couple first met nine years ago while working at the Teacher Training Agency, but "romance only set in", to use Stephen's phrase, this Easter, soon after the famous picture. They holidayed in Majorca recently, where Gillian, who now works at Number 10, taught Stephen how to swim. How sweet!

The diary knows the perfect wedding present: "Faithfully Yours", a novel by slushy writer Lois Richer. Written in 1998, it presciently stars a love-wracked educationist called "Gillian Langford" who falls for a "proper but handsome" head.

Needless to say, they live happily ever after.

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