Norman Baker: How Home Office is like Generation Game

The Generation Game Didn't they do well? Contestants on the Generation Game struggled to keep up with goings-on on the show's conveyor belt of prizes

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Minister Norman Baker has said the Home Office is "less friendly" than the Department of Transport, from which he was moved last month by David Cameron.

The Liberal Democrat MP, who oversees government drugs policy, said his new posting was "more reactive".

He likened working at the Home Office to the conveyor belt memory test on the BBC show The Generation Game, as "you see these events coming past and have to work out what to do".

But he told MPs he was "happy".

Mr Baker, MP for Lewes, was moved from the Department for Transport to the Home Office in Prime Minister David Cameron's October reshuffle.

As a backbencher, he had claimed government scientist David Kelly was murdered in 2003 and said this may have been hushed up by the UK authorities.

This led to fears among some commentators that he might not fit in in his new job,

'Less homely'

But, asked how his first 50 days in his new post had gone, he told the Commons Home Affairs Committee he was enjoying it "overall", adding: "It's very challenging. The Home Office is more reactive than my previous post.

"Like the Generation Game, you can see these events coming past you and you have to work out what to do."

Contestants on the former BBC One show - hosted by Sir Bruce Forsyth, Larry Grayson and Jim Davidson - had to watch items speed past them on a conveyor belt and remember as many as possible to win prizes.

These famously always included a cuddly toy.

But Mr Baker told MPs that there was little fluffy about working at one of the great offices of state.

Comparing life before and after his professional move, he said: "It's less friendly because of its sheer size... It's less homely than the Department for Transport. But it's a key government department and I'm happy to be there."

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