Shell-shocked Lane's escape bid

9th February 2001 at 00:00
As the shelling paused, a solitary foot soldier jumped out of his fox-hole and began a mazy run towards the enemy lines. For four long years, Graham Lane, education supremo at the Local Government Association, has kept a stiff upper lip through central government bombardment of local councils' role in schools.

Now, it seems, things may have got too much: "I saw something in the paper about the West Bromwich parliamentary candidacy being open and I thought why no go for it?" Neither Private Lane, who hails from the Midlands, nor the West Bromwich Labour Party have committed themselves to the move ("It has probably all been stitched up by Millbank, anyway," Lane muses), but it seems talk of handing the Conservatives the association's education portfolio after local elections in May may have broken his morale: "To give education to the Tories would send a green light to Government to close down LEAs' role entirely."

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