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In and out

Nick Robinson | 11:08 UK time, Friday, 5 May 2006

I've just interviewed the former home secretary Charles Clarke who says that he was sacked by Tony Blair - even though he was offered other jobs in government.

It is clear that Mr Clarke is as bemused as many onlookers by the fact that one day the prime minister said he was the right man for the job, and the next that he had to go.

You can see my interview on News 24 imminently.

PS: I've often interviewed resigning ministers, but this was amongst the bizarrest. When I was called to be told the news, I was naked in bed in a Westminster hotel hoping to get at least an hour's sleep, having stayed up all night covering the local elections. The interesting discovery I've made is that you can go from being in bed to attending a resignation statement in exactly seven minutes.

UPDATE 1159: You can now watch the interview by clicking here


Which is more honerable? A sacking or a resignation?

  • 2.
  • At 11:20 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • William wrote:

Perhaps a little too much information there Nick - but 7 minutes is nonetheless impressive.

Somehow I don't think Charles Clarke would have got much sleep last night either.

A hypothetical question - if the leadership passes to Gordon Brown as predicted, do you think people such as Jack Straw, demoted to Leader of the House and who have been loyal and are perhaps are seen by many as more 'honourable' than some of their cabinet colleagues, will be given greater reward and responsibility under a Brown government? Or is their time up?

  • 3.
  • At 11:21 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Swinton wrote:

Shurely telling us that you were naked in bed is a *little* too much information..

  • 4.
  • At 11:21 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • John wrote:

For me, political broadcasting has become too intimate when a correspondent tells us he was 'naked in bed'. Does 'in bed' not do the trick?

  • 5.
  • At 11:23 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Clive B wrote:

Definitely a case of TMI Nick!

"I was naked in bed"

Far too much detail before lunch!

I did feel sorry for you however, you looked like you needed to get back to bed quick.

  • 7.
  • At 11:27 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Ed Morris wrote:

Nick, interesting points. I think Tony Blair made a mistake by making that statement yesterday, and should not have "sacked him" today. If, what was apparently on the cards for the whole of last week, and that he was going to get rid of Clarke, then he should have engineered his resignation behind closed doors. Now Tony Blair's position has been weakened because it makes him look weak, and that No. 10 is in turmoil, which quite frankly it is. Personally I think Clarke should have gone, but Downing Street could have handled it better. As for Prescott, well you've got to hand it to him, he's a fighter (and he's shown that in more ways than one over the past few years), but I think perhaps he should have gone in the reshuffle as well.

  • 8.
  • At 11:29 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Anthony Morris wrote:

I cannot say that I am at all sorry to see Charles Clarke go as he has always appeared to me to be totally unsuitable as Home Secretary. The post requires some sense of moderation and use of appropriate language. He prides himself on being rude and aggressive. So far as the decision to sack him is concerned this is also totally correct as how can you have any confidence in someone putting something right when they have made such a mess of it in the first place.

  • 9.
  • At 11:29 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Matt wrote:

It had to happen didn't it, although i do find the circumstance of his departure rather comical!

One day the right man, next day a dead man. Is Blair feeling the pressure?

A former Minister that admits he was sacked rather than offering a face-saving resignation? Odd.

  • 11.
  • At 11:30 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Nick thornsby wrote:

About time the PM actually sacked somebody and its no wonder Clarke refused any other positions, they have got another three years and as was said in 'the thick of it', resign and you can be back in govt within a year, blunkett showed this but lets just watch how this one go's- well done last night Nick, I planned on an early morning retreat but I managed until 1 am

  • 12.
  • At 11:30 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Richard Hennessy wrote:

I'm glad the Clarke has stood his ground and gone to the backbenches. He can go with his pride intact. His initial reaction and making his views clear has echos of Geoffrey Howe and Robin Cook.

I feel sorrow for "events" overtaking a man who seems to be hard working and principled, but that's the nature of his career choice.

What is worrying is Straw being demoted. Just like Robin Cook on Iraq, Jack Straw had spoken common sense about Iran. I really hope that is not Blair's motive for ejecting him. It's a sad day when our choice of Foreign Secretary is dictated by a requirement to toe the line for GWB.

  • 13.
  • At 11:32 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Tony Weatherby wrote:

Interesting but leave out references to you naked in bed. It's more information than I need and the nation will need to have therapy to get it out of their mind.


On a morning when everyone thinks they've got a scoop this interview was the real thing. Very impressive

  • 15.
  • At 11:41 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

Too much information already!

  • 16.
  • At 11:41 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Alan Dean wrote:

Thanks for sharing with the world the fact that you do not wear pyjamas in bed -- just watch out for the paparazzi as you take in the morning papers. Seven minutes from bed to resignation statement: could John Prescott make it faster?

  • 17.
  • At 11:41 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • John K wrote:

Why would Clarke be bemused that TB says one thing one day and does the opposite the next? The rest of us have been putting up with that for years.

  • 18.
  • At 11:42 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Operation "Protect Blair" is in full swing. Labour results bad, but not that bad, fault of the headlines of the last 2 weeks which were nothing to do with Tony etc. Sack Clarke, Tony takes "Bold and Decisive action" even though Clarke was fully supported until about 1 minute after the polls closed. More chairs shuffled, but can't hide the fact that the government is looking very tired and devoid of vision and idea. One conclusion is that Tony isn't going anywhere quickly. Nick, what chance of a Labour coup attempt against Tony?

  • 19.
  • At 11:43 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Paul Terry wrote:

Poor Charles Clarke. Only a few days ago we were told that Clarke had offered to resign, but Blair would not accept it and that Clarke was the man to sort out the mess. So he soldiers on until today, and then gets the sack. How humiliating!

  • 20.
  • At 11:43 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

Way too much information Nick

  • 21.
  • At 11:44 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Robin wrote:

I thought he was "the best man for the job". Now we're being given the second best man John Reid.

  • 22.
  • At 11:45 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Steve Jones wrote:

Seven minutes! That's really quite impressive - having failed to stay awake until the end of the election broadcast, I can say wholeheartedly that it took me a lot more than seven minutes to get up, dressed, and out the door to work this morning...

(Which may or may not have made me more or less than seven minutes late for work, in case anyone else from the office is reading this)

Was it absolutely necessary to mention that you sleep naked? Did you mention it to Charles Clarke?

  • 24.
  • At 11:47 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Ruby wrote:

"Naked in bed"...! So much information Nick :-)

  • 25.
  • At 11:50 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Matt wrote:

well I think Nick deserves a well earned rest. Come on BBC, stand the man down!

  • 26.
  • At 11:50 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Pablo Fanque wrote:

Hopefully, Nick, you managed to get dressed in those seven minutes otherwise Charles Clarke may well have considered it his 'bizarrest' interview as well!


  • 27.
  • At 11:51 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Ash Burt wrote:

Wow, quite a reshuffle at the top. Suprised though not disappointed to see Beckett at FCO. Interesting choice in Reid, we shall see how that plays out. What's happened to Kelly, and who's taking over MOD and DTI? I'm glad to see Hewitt seems secure.

  • 28.
  • At 11:52 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Laura Daly wrote:

To much information there Nick on the Naked front I think...

  • 29.
  • At 11:52 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • John wrote:

I'm confused, I thought Mr Blair said Mr Clark should stay as he was the man best placed to sort out the trouble at the Home Office.

But now he's been axed in the reshuffle.

So, I take it Mr Blair will be making an announcement saying that Mr Clarke has sorted all the problems out in the last few days?

Or more likely is this Mr Blair's effort to look like he is dealing hands-on with the Home Office debacle, conveniently after the local elections have occurred?

  • 30.
  • At 11:53 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Russell Long wrote:

At least you didn't have to do your hair Nick!

  • 31.
  • At 11:58 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Oliver Morgans wrote:

Poor Charles Clarke, discovers he is sacked one minute and then is exposed to the smell of Nick Robinson after a night under the TV lights! It goes from bad to worse!
P.s. I hope you got dressed in those 7 minutes.

  • 32.
  • At 11:59 AM on 05 May 2006,
  • Catman wrote:

'Naked in Westminster' is not a TV show which should be influencing your reports, Mr Robinson!

  • 33.
  • At 12:03 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Mo Cooper wrote:

Who is replacing John Reid at Defence?

  • 34.
  • At 12:04 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Dave Miller wrote:

So, 2 weeks ago Clarke offers Blair his resignation. This is refused. Now Clarke is sacked. So what exactly changed between then and now? Very unfair on Clarke whatever your opinion of him.

  • 35.
  • At 12:07 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • nigel wrote:

It's a profound relief that the seven minutes gave you time to dress.

  • 36.
  • At 12:08 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Keith Lewis wrote:

Did we really need the thought of you being naked! It's nearly lunchtime!!!!!

  • 37.
  • At 12:08 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • John Russell wrote:

Remember: in PM-speak "I have complete confidence in him" always means "He'll be gone by the end of the week".

  • 38.
  • At 12:08 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Mussorgsky wrote:

'The interesting discovery I’ve made is that you can go from being in bed to attending a resignation statement in exactly seven minutes.'

Mr Clarke has probably discovered a very similar thing.

  • 39.
  • At 12:09 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Norman Lindsay wrote:

Who takes over Defence from John Reid?

  • 40.
  • At 12:13 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Steve Howard wrote:

You say you went from "naked in bed" to interviewing Clarke in seven minutes

I hope you put some clothes on before the interview!

  • 41.
  • At 12:20 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Mark P wrote:

Mr Clarke should have gone some time ago - but the real accountability for this fiasco (putting foreign criminals' Human Rights above ours)lies with Blair.
The re-shuffle is interesting. Margaret Beckett as Foreign Secretary - as the PM had sequestered all semblances of a meaningful role from Jack Straw, I don't suppose she can do that much damage (or at least not as much as she wreaked at DEFRA). This re-shuffle looks like a desperate attempt to rotate a thankfully reducing number of incompetent loyal allies of Blair.

  • 42.
  • At 12:24 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Stephen Richards wrote:

Hi Nick,

Does everyone and everything in this country now exist solely for the purpose of assisting Tony Blair in his increasingly desperate attempts to achieve his personal, historical, "legacy"?

  • 43.
  • At 12:26 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Jason wrote:

If it's any help in this bizarre situation relax you are fast becoming a style icon you should seek sponsorship deals from the leading eyewear "specialists".

My best mate recently got married the best man (not me!) modelled himself on you.

Shame about the speech it was a awful a bit "new" Labour totally unrehearsed, shoddy in content, big on image delivery.

Maybe you can put your feet up tonight.

My only question have you ever met a "decent" politician?

Ego Maniacs

We need 21st Century Roundheads!

Get some sleep Cool Dude!

  • 44.
  • At 12:27 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Any insight as to why Jack Straw lost his job. Isn't he a Blair man? No wonder he didn't hang around at the Blackburn count last night.

  • 45.
  • At 12:35 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • linton wrote:

too much information on "naked", very good interview though.

  • 46.
  • At 12:37 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Graham Brack wrote:

As they say, timing is everything. The sacking of Charles Clarke would have looked like a decisive and strong move last week. Now it appears as the panicky act of a floundering leader.

I have some sympathy for Mr Clarke. There are ministers I consider more devious; and the spokesperson for Liberty made a good point when she praised his response to the July 7 bombings last year. It's a shame for Mr Clarke that she did not say so last week.

As for the promotion of Geoff Hoon, words fail me. I must buy Mr Blair a thesaurus so he learns that loyalty and ability are not synonymous.

  • 47.
  • At 12:38 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Nikki wrote:

What's wrong with the thought of Nick Robinson naked before lunchtime, anyway??? Would it be all right at midnight?

  • 48.
  • At 12:43 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • adam pryce-jones wrote:

Nic, when you sleep naked, do you keep your glasses on in the event you have to react quickly to an event, either big or small?

  • 49.
  • At 12:45 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Michael Winston wrote:

I rather liked the story in Private Eye that our new Home Secretary John Reid, on a recent trip to America and attempting to build on the 'warm' relationship between Straw and Rice, offered to take Donald Rumsfeld to the cinema to see 'Brokeback Mountain'! Rumsfeld's face was, by all accounts, a study of unresolved fury. It's not all bad news then, as the Cabinet goes from strength to strength in the tactlessness stakes! Coupled to this, Clarke's apparent fury at having to go ( Tony doing his 'my house, my soldiers' bit, Clarke probably holding his breath until he goes purple) and the Westminster happy wagon rolls by under its own miserable momentum - I'm thinking in particular of Alan Johnson and the poisoned chalice of the forthcoming Education Reform bill here.
P.S. Did we really need the 'naked' detail, Nick? I haven't had my dinner yet!

  • 50.
  • At 12:47 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Mandy Hall wrote:


Good interview - especially for so little sleep!

What I can't understand the logic of - is why switch Jack Straw out of being Foreign Sec? Especially at a time when the situation with Iran and Iraq is so 'fragile', for want of a better word? And especially as his relationship with Condi is supposedly so warm?

Is Margaret Beckett really up to the job?

Whilst many of you say that the 'Naked in bed' comment was a bit rich, the mere fact it was mentioned suggests that Nick it becoming an avid and truthful blogger indeed! Any slight doubts (which were more than settled during the power cut episode last night) have been quelled.

Kudos, Nick!

  • 52.
  • At 12:55 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Willie Samuel wrote:

Charles Clarke to me was a honest, hard working minister. It is a disgrace that he has been sacked in this way. He is a victim of the hatred of foriegners, cultivated by the tabloid press and harvested by the BNP in Dagenham. My respect for Mr Clarke's refusal to take another post is imense and I wish he would throw his weight behind the efforts to remove Mr Blair.

I was a Labour Party member (and councillor until 1996)when Mr Blair came to power in May 1997. My optimism on that night has not been justified.

Blair is now clining to power in a last gasp attempt to leave a legacy he can be proud of. Everybody else knows that Blair will be remembered in history as the only world leader to support one of the most right wing reactionary american presidents of all time.

The loss of lives in Iraq in a war motivated by America's greed for oil and the destabilisation of the middle east will mark Blair's place in history. His only other achievement may yet be to cling to power for so long that he destroys his party and returns us to the dark days of Tory rule for another generation.

  • 53.
  • At 12:56 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Tom Scott wrote:

John Reid at the Home Office - that is bad news. Maybe he is a very nice man in private, but he comes over as a deeply unpleasant thug. I fear that our civil liberties, which have already taken a hammering under New Labour, are in for further erosion.

  • 54.
  • At 12:57 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Jess GP wrote:

What's happenning in the ODPM? We get Ruth Kelly for Local Govt, og help us, so does Milliband get regeneration, housing etc.? And any word on a new department name?

  • 55.
  • At 01:06 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • GJC wrote:

Why has BBC News (website) paid so little attention to the post of Defence Secretary ? (It is now Des Browne apparently, another scottish lawyer). Given that Def SofS is one of the senior cabinet posts, one of the biggest spending departments, and responsible for the lives of many service men and women, many who are currently on active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other genuine trouble spots?

  • 56.
  • At 01:09 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • jason Pearce wrote:

With the apparent shuffle being undertaklen as we speak, I think it's a sad day for Britain that the man who put these people in positions of power, who then goes on to see them fall flat on their face time after time while denying there is an issue, yet fires the man he stood up for less than 24 hours previous is not also sacked.
If this was a private company and a manger had the same level of performance he would have been kicked into touch a long LONG time ago, with NO hope of return.

Ps Enough of the naked comments people, he knows...

  • 57.
  • At 01:16 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Nick, one question - what has happened to Alistair Darling? AKA Gordon's close friend and political ally

Whilst many people were cringing about the 'naked in bed' comment, I think it shows that Nick has finally become the archetypical blogger: truthful, humorous, honest and indeed, unphasing. Any possible pessimistic thoughts (most of which, were quelled during the constant updating on the power cut) have been quelled.

Kudos, Nick!

  • 59.
  • At 01:28 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • David wrote:

The seat losses are creeping up to 300. This was pitched as the limit of acceptable. Yet coverage seemed to stop at 200-250. Are the press going to let this one go or retrieve it and not let the diversion tactic of a reshuffle stop the real problem being analysed?

  • 60.
  • At 01:29 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Ben W wrote:

Any news on the minister for social exclusion or the Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster?

  • 61.
  • At 01:41 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • James M wrote:

How happy do you think Gordon Brown is with these events?

Yes, he is closer to the leadership but what will he inherit?

Many Labour MPs will be glad to see the end Blair's tenure but I find it difficult to believe that Brown will satisfy those most hostile to Tony.

Unlike Blair Brown surely won't be in a position to pick the best to make up his cabinet. And the Conservative are still improving, all be it at a slow rate.

Poor Gordon.

  • 62.
  • At 01:41 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • R Sawyer wrote:

So the woman responsible for beggaring the agricultural industry is to go foreign.Pity she can't go away permanently.TB must be desperate.

  • 63.
  • At 01:52 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Tom wrote:

I wonder if John Reid made his meeting this morning with the Polish Defence Minister that he was talking about last night?

  • 64.
  • At 01:59 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Ben wrote:

Where the hell is Gordon Brown?

Talk about distancing yourself.

  • 65.
  • At 02:03 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Rod Aries wrote:

I agree, Re: Naked comment.

Kudos indeed for stating it. :)

  • 66.
  • At 02:07 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • John wrote:

Apart from his arrogance, his blind loyalty to
Tony, his ability not to let interviewers ask him questions and his permanent availability to fill any gap in the Cabinet, what are John Reid's strengths? He changes job every six months but what can he account for so far?
And what is the purpose of Beckett at Defence?
Create our own Condoleeza or use her to frighten
the Talebans?

I'm having real trouble watching that interview now. I'm not sure I am old enough...

  • 68.
  • At 02:15 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Steve wrote:

I am disappointed at the dismissal of Mr. Clarke. Surely it is a dangerous precedent to dismiss a politician for lies and/or incompetence? If the PM carries through with this I can see him having to dismiss John Reid for presiding over the disaster of administering the NHS cash bonanza and the destruction of our Dental system, (Although he has now moved to Defence where presumably he can do no harm). And what about Hewitt, Prescott etc. I think you should start a campaign to bring back Mr Clarke. ..On reflection however, if he parallels Blunkett & Mandy etc we can expect him back in a few weeks

  • 69.
  • At 02:17 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • LCD wrote:

I'm interested in the "splitting" of the foreign office, as it's been reported in some places. Does Geoff Hoon keep his Cabinet vote? Does this mean Europe will have a bigger place in our foreign policy?

I think Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty had it bang on - I'm just worried what Dr Reid is going to do to "make his mark" at the HO.

  • 70.
  • At 02:17 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • fruits wrote:

Was on my way to note how reading the 'naked' comment didn't really go with eating lunch, when I saw that about 20 other people had complained already! Think you might regret this one Nick. We'll put it down to your lack of sleep. Keep blogging!

And for the record, nice one Margaret Beckett! A strange woman but massively accomplished and I'm proud to have a female foreign secretary.

  • 71.
  • At 02:18 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Will wrote:

Am I right in thinking that the constitution of the labour party procsribes that the job of deputy prime minister is given to the deputy leader of the party? This would mean that tb had no option of sacking Prescott. I tried to find the constituiton on the internet to check this but had no luck.

  • 72.
  • At 02:25 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Gerry O'Neill wrote:

Is Britain becoming as Victorian as America? Since when has describing oneself as lying in bed naked, "too much information"? Are Brits no longer a liberal society?

  • 73.
  • At 02:26 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • john atkins wrote:

Forget cash for peerages, release of foreign criminals, deputy PM caught with his trousers down - lets change the subject and have a re-shuffle! Shame that the resulting cabinet is not likely to inspire confidence. Margaret Beckett, who screwed up the payment of farm subsidies goes to Foreign Secretary -- she can do a lot more damage in that position! John Reid, he who has overseen the lack of protection for our troops in Iraq (shortage of body armour for troops and failure to protect Hercules aircraft from ground fire) while at the same time announces new fancy accomodation for our troops at home - we all hope they live to use it! and can but hope he will have more success protecting us than he has had protecting the troops. John Prescott, has failed in every task he has undertaken - and he would be the man to take over in the event of the sudden demise, or illness of Tony Blair - a frightening prospect. For gods sake don't let him have the nuclear key!!!

  • 74.
  • At 02:30 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Jamie Fletcher wrote:

Good to see Clarke go but why did Tony demote Jack Straw?

  • 75.
  • At 02:31 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

Surely the striking thing is that NOBODY has been sacked - everyone has been moved round, except for Charles Clarke who refused to be moved.

  • 76.
  • At 02:36 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • David wrote:

Overall, quite right that Clarke should go. And characteristic of the man that he would dig his heeels in and say if he cannot stay he doesn't want anything else. Tony Blair seems to have produced a strong looking cabinet. And the new appointment for Margaret Beckett is timely and well deserved. Reid is going to be a good Home Secretary, but given that this job is fast becoming a graveyard for the strongest politicians I would have been tempted to shuffle Gordon Brown into the job (just to see the look on his face).

  • 77.
  • At 02:38 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Sean Kelly wrote:

Resignation statement?

  • 78.
  • At 02:46 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Simon Barb wrote:

Interesting line of questioning....."are't you being sacked just because of a few weeks bad headlines?" And if the man says "Yes, that's right. Its you guys in the media who are to blame". You can hit back with the killer "But aren't the issues really serious issues?" Charles Clarke didn't fall for that one....and I'm not quite sure whether its really fair game trying to get a man to say something indiscreet when he has just been kicked out of his job. Charles took it all good humouredly looking even more hangdog than Clement Freud, if that were possible. You're lucky that you weren't dealing with John Reid...he'd already have got you by the neck and you'd have wished that you'd stayed in bed.

  • 79.
  • At 02:47 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Reg wrote:

(Must remember don't mention nudity)

Now it seems that TB has left himself exposed to comments like "deckchairs on the Titanic"
Same old faces ....... different hats.
And having stripped Clarke of his responsibilities after backing him for the last few days where's his judgement?
He just cannot see that the centre of the problem really is himself...."The emporer has got no clothes!!!!.......

Oh! sorry Nick you shouldn't have put it in my mind!

  • 80.
  • At 02:48 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Jack Strw has said that it is inconcievable that Britain be involved in an attack on Iran. His move from th FO to become the leader of the house is highly reminiscent of what happened to Robin Cook prior to the Iraq war. Should we all be very worried?

  • 81.
  • At 02:49 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Jennifer wrote:

What the public wants to know though Nick, is whether you wear those glasses when naked in bed!? ;-)

  • 82.
  • At 02:54 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Jennifer wrote:

I appreciate your candour, but really, "in bed" would have sufficed! Seriously, though, why do you think Jack Straw was demoted? He was loyal to the PM, had an excellent relationship with his American counterpart, and, considering the situations ranging from delicate to disastrous that he was dealing with, seemed to be doing a surprisingly good job. Is there something else going on that we don't know about?

I heard the election results in BBC Manchester and I liked the broadcasts. Mainstream US Media can learn from Nick Robinson and the BBC.

  • 84.
  • At 03:01 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • David Wright wrote:

I imagine one reason for moving Margaret Beckett from the Department for the Elimination of Farming is to try to head off the next didsater over farm subsidies. But hopefully you'll be turning your attention to that area soon Nick. You will, won't you?

I look forward to reading the inevitable exchange of letters.

I can't recall the minister who, instead of the usual stomach-churning platitudes and promises to support from the back-benches, wrote:

Dear Prime Minister, You have asked me to resign. I hereby do so.



  • 86.
  • At 03:06 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • John wrote:

Since my last posting I have been reading all the comments.
What a sad Country this has become!
Very few seem bothered by Prescott with his trousers down entertaining a civil servant in a public office during working hours but there seems to be an outcry at you sleeping naked in a hotel room you have even paid for. You just carry on, Nick, as long as we don't see your pictures on the front pages! ;-)

  • 87.
  • At 03:25 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

I'm a great fan of Charles Clarke; I think he is one of the few Labour politicians that speak in a coherent manner about Government policy. I think the treatment by Tony Blair of Clarke has been disgusting and the entire Cabinet reshuffle smells of blind panic. I thought Charles Clarke displayed great dignity in his interview with Nick and I sincerely hope this is not the last of Charles Clarke in British politics.

Some of the Cabinet reshuffles are perplexing i.e. why bring in Hazel Blears as Labour party chair and Jacqui Smith as chief whip. Surely Labour needs a 'Francis Urquhart' type figure as chief whip? Not some no-name Blairite, bizarre.

  • 88.
  • At 03:27 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • justinf wrote:

I dont think anyone has mentioned the background of Des Browne, the new chap in Defence.

This is where it gets highly interesting

"Rt Hon Des Browne MP was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury in May 2005."

so he's a Brownite.

"He was previously Minister of State for Nationality, Immigration and Asylum at the Home Office."

source:Treasury bio

So, he could well have been involved or at least knew about the foreign prisoner scandal - and yet , he gets promoted to defence.

Is it any wonder that Clarke, a Blairite might I add, seems to be exceedingly miffed about all of this.

  • 89.
  • At 03:36 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Stephen Cook wrote:

Do we really need to know that you were naked in bed?
Couldn't you have just said you were in bed trying to get some sleep?

  • 90.
  • At 03:36 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Andrew McIlwrick wrote:

"I was naked in bed"

For a moment I thought I was reading John Prescott's blog.

Maybe you need to get a Chelsea strip ?

  • 91.
  • At 03:40 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Simon Christopher-Chambers wrote:


You haven't got a bubbly blonde assistant have you?

Will you ever live this down?

I hear there is an 'early day motion' being drafted as we speak!

  • 92.
  • At 03:42 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

I never thought i'd say this, but I actually feel sorry for Charles Clarke. Blair should have sacked the man last week, instead of humiliating him like this.

Reid as Home Secretary? The world has finally gone potty!

  • 93.
  • At 03:48 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • James wrote:

It is interesting that there has been a change at the Foreign Office, since Jack Straw was widely tipped to stay on and commanded great respect for the competence he has shown in the most coveted role in government. I would say it's disappointing for Straw too - he has been a strong ally for Blair and strengthened the transatlantic alliance, yet he gets the chop.

Great, however, to see a woman promoted to this top job though. For a man like Blair who has harped on about equality for ethnic minorities in the workplace, I don't see him taking much of a lead on this. A missed opportunity I think.

  • 94.
  • At 03:49 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Scott wrote:

The appointment of Dr Reid reminds me of the opening to the little lamented TV show, The A Team. "In 1999 a crack economic history doctor (and former communist) was sent to join the Cabinet in a dead end job as Scottish Secretary by Tony Blair for a crime he didn't commit. This man promptly escaped from Dover House to the upper echelons of the Cabinet. Today, still wanted by the Prime Minister, he survives as a minister of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire John Reid."

John Reid'a appointment in the reshuffle raises an issue currently absent from the coverage: the West Lothian question. The constitutional anomaly of Scottish ministers having responsibility for matters that are devolved is surely going to merit greater concern now. I had assumed - foolishly - that no Scottish MP would be able to be Home Secretary, given the post concerns law and order issues in England and Wales (issues devolved to the Minister of Justice in the Scottish Executive). Coupled with yet another Scottish MP as transport secretary (again in Scotland transport is devolved to the Executive) when will the English throw of what Paxman called the Scottish raj?


  • 95.
  • At 03:59 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Adam Hall wrote:

Strange Nick, John Prescott has been stripped of all ministerial responsibilities and is now Deputy PM only in name. What on earth is he now being paid for then?

  • 96.
  • At 04:04 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Caroline Burt wrote:

Point 1: Despite my cynicism about this Government, I did find Clarke's interview quite genuine and rather fascinating.
Point 2: In the light of this very interesting news item, why is everyone so bothered about Nick sleeping in the buff??? Not the most striking thing about the blog, yet everyone's getting so het up about it. No wonder newspapers like The Sun sell more than the broadsheets. Everyone is too interested in nakedness and cocktail sausages (belonging to a certain Minister)!!!!!!!

As a blogger, surely Nick should be Pajama-clad?

I fear CBS's Dan Rather underestimated the threat that nudist bloggers pose to mainstream news production.

  • 98.
  • At 04:20 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Matt wrote:

With one council still to report Labour have lost nearly 19% of their seats ... one in 5 Labour councillors is looking for another job and will turn up at their party meetings to blame it on Charles Clarke, John Prescott and Tony Blair. Only one of those wasn't spanked in the reshuffle.

  • 99.
  • At 04:20 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • David Simmons wrote:

Re John Prescott - seems the only one in the government who's brave enough to ask the obvious questions is Kate Hoey. 'What is he being paid for, and what is he going to do..?' Well - we may have the answer to the latter based on past performance, but the former..?
For the avoidance of doubt, its our money he's being paid with..

  • 100.
  • At 04:29 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Bill Haymes wrote:

is it really worth all this loss of sleep definitely need a holiday

  • 101.
  • At 04:38 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • David wrote:

Losses now well past 300. That was supposed to be a threshold. Never mind the distraction of a reshuffle. Report on the losses. These are in the "terminal" range for Blair.

  • 102.
  • At 04:40 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • George wrote:

Dr Reid is a Scotsman representing a Scottish constituency. Much of the Home Office's responsibilites relate only to England, with similar powers in relation to Scotland in the hands of the Scottish Office or the Scottish Executive. Is it appropriate then for him (or any other Scottish constituency MP) to be Home Secretary?

  • 103.
  • At 04:42 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Hi, When Blair reshuffled his cabinet earlier on today, I really thought he would have used politicians Hilary Benn and Peter Hain in the new arrangements. In my view they are the only two genuine front bench politicians with the ability to sort Labours current problems out.

  • 104.
  • At 04:57 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • John wrote:

I too am perplexed as to whether John Prescott could be deputy leader of the Labour party, but not deputy PM. Nick, as my political guru - could you clear this up for me?

  • 105.
  • At 04:59 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • John Airey wrote:

We've obviously overlooked the great pajama debate here. Not only do they stay still while you move in the bed, they prevent you from getting dressed quick as well. Whole industries of pajama manufacturing have now closed down as a result of your posting, Nick. It might be best if you don't mention eggs for a while, just in case.

I used to be able to get up, get dressed and get to work 1/4 mile away in under 10 minutes (running) so 7 minutes is nothing!

  • 106.
  • At 05:04 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • MRH wrote:

I disagree with the naked comments and I want pictures.

  • 107.
  • At 05:07 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • John wrote:

The problem you and all political reporters have is that you are more interested in personalities than the politics.

I blame the media for the 36% turnout in the local elections. I blame the media for the BNP vote and I blame the media for ignorance of people about the parties that represent them, their policies and the changes that are happening with regard three party politics and low turnout trends.

Your service to the public is abysmal.

  • 108.
  • At 05:12 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • barton stacy wrote:

Why did you feel it neccessary to inform us you were naked in bed? I feel so much better now informed with that nugget.
You looked really tired but very informative as usual on the Daily Politics show a must see programme I never miss.

  • 109.
  • At 05:23 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • bob wrote:

I wonder how tempting it is for Blair to conduct a "scorched earth" policy in which what Brown finally inherits is no longer a viable government?

It's interesting that our recently quiescent media have really got their teeth into the government now, having smelt blood in the water over the past week.

  • 110.
  • At 05:29 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Theresa wrote:

Nick, you have had 72 replies, have you noticed what they all have in common? Not one mentioned David Cameron's success last night. The media has given wall-to-wall coverage of the re-shuffle and hardly any to the Tories big win. Blair probably did have this shuffle planned for some time and he also knew he was going to take a pasting from the electorate, but as far as Cameron is concerned, Blair has knocked him for six with the headlines, he has stolen Cameron's thunder. This guy is a master at pulling off the impossible.

  • 111.
  • At 05:40 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Nick Varley wrote:

After what was a predictbly horrendous Local Election night last night, I don't think it is unreasonable of me to suggest that Blair has now well and truly lost the confidence of our nation and that it IS time to go. I have my Conservative fingers crossed he will be gone by the end of May, but as a gentleman on Question Time said last night " I'm afraid of The Scottish Socialist taking over"!

I am truly amazed at what Mr Blair has managed to do with his reshuffle. It seems he has somehow manage to promote the few remaining Blairites to the top, and therefore effectively wrap himself in political cotton wool.

The only man to take over as Prime Minister is David Cameron, as the sooner the majority of people realise this, the sooner Britain can get back on the road to improvement.

Blair came to government when I was seven, and if I can tell Blair needs to go, why can't the electorate?!

  • 112.
  • At 05:41 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Margaret Beckett appointment must have come as a surprise to her given her comment on Friday nights Any Questions, 4/5/06
In reply to a question asking if it would be better if the UK adopted the American system of two terms only for the leader, her response was look what that delivered, Bush instead of Clinton.
Her first meeting with members of the US administration will be interesting to listed in on.

  • 113.
  • At 05:42 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Gaby Gonzalez wrote:

That's what we journalist do. When the news is there, the journalist personal life is put on the side to search for the news.

  • 114.
  • At 05:53 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Gaby Gonzalez wrote:

That's what we journalist do. When the news is there, the journalist personal life is put on the side to search for the news.

  • 115.
  • At 06:07 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Robb wrote:

Tony B has missed to chance to give up as PM with Grace.
It will now get very messy and the press will have a field day. He has had the Voters warning they will have him and his gang down the road before Gordon Brown can blink.
If in the scheme of things TB was trying to out do Mrs T. The Labour Party backlash against his way will be totally brutal and his footnote in history will....

  • 116.
  • At 06:31 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Steve Mogridge wrote:

Getting a little fed up paying my licence and having constant party political broadcasts by Nick Robinson. Where has balance gone in the BBC?

  • 117.
  • At 07:06 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Tim wrote:

Don't wish to add to the political sleaze, so not stating my state of dress as I write this comment.

The PM has displayed some skill in juggling his dwindling stock of credible cronies. Keeping those oddballs in the air must be really tiring.

Tony must be cheered by a vision of a less strenuous future. Apparently the laws of physics are suspended when riding the perpetual motion carousel of the US after dinner speaking circuit.

  • 118.
  • At 07:29 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Stuart Fanning wrote:

Nothing much is being said about it, but what's the position with Geoff Hoon? The Minister for Europe job is Minister of State rank. The holder is allowed into Cabinet meetings as an observer but cannot take part. Has Geoff Hoon agreed to this, or is he being given full Cabinet rank to get him to take the job?

  • 119.
  • At 08:22 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • NotCanute wrote:

Since John Prescott now has no job but all the perks of office I wonder why? Does he know where all the *bodies* are buried?

Incidentally you might recommend a new venue for Labour Party meetings - Cuckoo Farm Business Park, Colchester - it is built near the old lunatic asylum!

Kind Regards,

good, entertainiing, honest blog nick. i wasn't a fan before, but i am now.

  • 121.
  • At 08:50 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • N Marritt wrote:

I think Clark had to go although it's never nice to see what is really a decent man getting fired so publicly.

My outrage with the PM is that, coming from Hull Myself, how has two Jags managed to be caugh out as a liar and a cheat, keep is gace en favour part of his job, we still pay is huge salary and his work has been taken off him?
what a result he'll be thingking, it's unreal?
Get rid of that fool...
someone must mount a challenge to this awful PM

  • 122.
  • At 08:56 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Graeme wrote:

Earlier in this blog, it was suggested that losses of 200 would be the threshhold beyond which 'blair would feel steadily increasing pain'.

With losses of 319, why is anyone talking about an incompetent cabinet member getting the sack? Surely the issue should be that of the PM's position?

  • 123.
  • At 09:01 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Jean wrote:

Jack Straw will be a massive loss. He effectively took on the Prime Minister's role in all his dealings with the middle east countries in the most strenuous circumstances--he almost made me want to vote labour!
This isn't shuffling it's juggling, and, excuse me, a lot of the balls are falling on the floor.

  • 124.
  • At 09:11 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Nick Robinson wrote:

OK. OK. No more naked comments. It was merely to add authenticity and not meant to revolt!

  • 125.
  • At 09:40 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Mike Abram wrote:

It is interesting Margaret Beckett gets promoted despite being widely regarded in the farming world as being totally incompetent, while Jack Straw is demoted for being pretty competent in general.

Certainly her move will be greeted with widespread glee by farmers. She has made a total horlicks of implementing the new single farm payment regime - the majority of which are still waiting for payments over a month after they were told they would have received them by.

In fact, she made such a sow's ear of it she has had to go to the EU and plead with them not to fine us if we fail to make all the payments by June 30, which looks exceedingly likely.

And this is a woman who deserves to be promoted and is in charge of foreign policy. God, help us.

  • 126.
  • At 09:54 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Ian wrote:

Little to much info - though very impressive timing! Sadly for it's likey to take along time for this lot to make a mistake, or at least get caught!
I saw a new blog that rang out what you have failed to mention; alot., and this blogger maybe right, time for the brownites to hide for a while. Insider?

  • 127.
  • At 10:10 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • David Rintoul wrote:

Hero Nick Robinson - great journalism. You must be shattered!

  • 128.
  • At 11:00 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Stuart wrote:


Well done for being so humourously honest about your naked status only minutes before being summoned to Clarke's resignation interview. How many of us would've simply turned over and switched off the mobile?

I laughed when I read it, and quite surprised at some of the negative statements on here. It simply showed your honesty (the whole point of a blog) and the 7 minute preparation time demonstrated your commitment to carrying on the task, despite having been awake for so many hours.

Well done for a great job last night, especially continuing to update with such wit in the face of adversity during the power cut!

  • 129.
  • At 11:20 PM on 05 May 2006,
  • Nathalie wrote:

Britain - for the love of whatever you believe in - relax!! Nick is a living, breathing man using blogs to be human. This 'too much information' reaction reminds me of the 'oo er' British fascination/repulsion with private lives in the public arena...from Profumo to Prescott, you all understand how it happens - get over it! Nick - feel free to give as much information as you wish.

  • 130.
  • At 12:13 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • James wrote:

How can John Prescott justify maintaining his salary after losing his departmental responsibilities? I've seen that the PM's official spokesman has said that the DPM will be chairing a number of Cabinet committees. Wasn't Prescott doing that before the reshuffle as well though? Surely like anywhere else if you get your workload dramatically cut you should also see your salary cut, particularly when that salary is paid for by the public. How is he entitled to keep his Government love nest/"grace and favour" apartment as well? Two Jags? No job.

  • 131.
  • At 12:14 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • Mrs Gurung wrote:

I believe that the PM has lost his plot. One day he is defending Clarke while plotting to sack him the next day. Time has now come for TB to go otherwise he will do more damage to the party. No one trust TB anymore. Gordon please be bold and tell him bluntly that it is time for him to go before he does more damage to the party.

  • 132.
  • At 12:15 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • Simon Berry wrote:

If a man cannot admit to sleeping naked in bed in his blog then we really are in trouble as a country! Blog on Nick !!

  • 133.
  • At 12:40 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • phillip manning wrote:

Nick, Interesting feedback re your "naked in bed" comment. Perhaps you will start a new trend in developing the "naked chef" theme to "naked (or knackered if you prefer) journalist". Such a title would suggest vulnerability coupled with a mission to seek out honesty in a moral political dessert, where such things don't exist - in other words, mission impossible!

  • 134.
  • At 12:52 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • Bob Doney wrote:

The nice Canadian ladies on Naked News take their clothes off while they read the news. Good to see Nick has a new angle on this tried and tested method. Keep it up, Nick!

  • 135.
  • At 01:25 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

I think it's outrageous that he was sacked. This really is management and government as dictated by the tabloids. How can Blair possibly expect us to have any faith in him if he was insisting only two days prior to the sacking that Clarke was free from fault?

Does he Blair really think we are this stupid?

  • 136.
  • At 03:02 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • Sherry wrote:

Well I said you were a laugh too... and this evening you lived up to it again!. After trying to get of my desktop into the web zone, I finally made it here..What a laugh, thankyou, I've had a rotten day with my computer!.
I sure think you must have had a beaming smile on your face knowing charles clarke had been sacked.....I would have!...and still have.

So were you dressing on the way?hahah

catching up with the elections, What a turn about with them, seems the message is getting through, labour has out stayed it's welcome...

  • 137.
  • At 07:16 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • BWGC wrote:

"Bizarrest" interview? I know what you mean and it fits the occasion perfectly but it's not valid for Scrabble! A 'naked truth' perhaps....

  • 138.
  • At 10:11 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • jenny notley wrote:

I find Tony Blairs 'reshuffle' cynical and manipulative.Clarke and Prescott were far too useful to go before the elections,athough they should have done.Tony Blair can now be seen to be taking action after what he must have known would be a bad night for Labour.They are fall guys to keep the heat off him whilst he now shores up his own position.Tony Blair and his spin should have been kicked out a long time ago.I,m ashamed of the Labour Party

  • 139.
  • At 10:23 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • roger bull wrote:

I think Prescott has a very important role within the party as social secretary. He can organise the christmas party, make restaurant bookings, organise excuses for wives/husbands when a cabinet minister dissapears for a few hours in the afternoon etc and generally news manage the labour party's extensive social and recreational activity programme.

Joke or what! Blair has to go soon as he and the party has nil credibility, and it has to be Gordon, the only one to be untainted.

If not it's Prime Minister Cameron, which may not be a bad thing anyway.

  • 140.
  • At 10:38 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • Richard O'shea wrote:

"The interesting discovery I've made is that you can go from being in bed to attending a resignation statement in exactly seven minutes."

Classic. Shame it takes nine years to wake up.

  • 141.
  • At 11:42 AM on 06 May 2006,
  • Luke wrote:

I find the most interesting element of the reshuffle the demotion of Jack Straw. I was under the impression that he was doing a good job handling his remit, and so it seems that Tony Blair has sacrificed the stability of this key position for sake of mere political expediency. Is this really a justified move in the present international climate?

What exactly is John Prescott new job? It sounds to me that Blair was too weak to sack him, but by taking away his department and leaving the perks he has just made both himself and Prescott look foolish.

  • 143.
  • At 12:07 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • Jason Ham wrote:

Thanks Nick for the great evening's coverage!

Equally thank you for the brilliant political reporting you do!

Great blog, Nick!

You really proved invaluable on election night.

  • 145.
  • At 01:37 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • Richard O'shea wrote:

It's interesting to see that some bloggers anlyse this re-shuffle in terms of a ministers competence. In my opinion this is not the issue at hand. Right now, a significant struggle for power is underway within the Labour party, this has been highlighted by the BBC before. Now more than ever the nature of power should be understood. I strongly believe that powers is something we give and not something someone has. I do not see this reflected in the current political system.

  • 146.
  • At 02:10 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • Mrs Taylor wrote:

I agree that Mr Blair should of allowed Mr Clarke to resign last week it would of been more dignified especially after Mr Blair stated that Mr Clarke is best placed to sort out the chaos that exists at the Home Office. Mr Blair refused to accept his resignation and this poor judge along with his assertion that Mr Prescott's affair with his secretary is a private matter may well have cost New Labour votes this week.

Both Mr Clarke and Mr Straw has paid a heavy price for New Labours poor election results. I simply cannot understand why Mr Straw was demoted it seems so unfair.

On the other-hand Mr Prescott's conduct has brought the government into ridicule and he remains as Deputy Prime Minister on full salary with all the perks. How on earth can he remain in frontline politics he should be SACKED given that he does not have the decency to resign.

  • 147.
  • At 02:31 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • Paul Najman wrote:

Please Nick, make some comment about Jack Straw.

I've listened to many radio pieces and seen lots of TV but absolutely no mention of why Jack Straw was so massively demoted.

I hate to bring you to task, but as a political commentator, you should be analysing this. I know that the prurient stuff about JP is more fun, but please don't tell us his infidelity is more important to the country than the choice of Foreign Secretary.

  • 148.
  • At 02:41 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • Phoenix Johnston wrote:

Nick, I very much enjoyed your interview with Charles Clarke after his 'sacking'. One point, however:

You said that many viewers would find it 'surreal' that a Prime Minister who the previously day had given Clarke his full support to stay in office suddenly, the next day, sacked him from it. This only goes to show how the term 'surreal', in its slippage into popular linguistic currency, has become horribly attenuated from its original meaning.

Sacking Clarke from an office he had never held in the first place (like, say, the department for Agricultural affairs) would have been truly surreal. Sacking him from one he held, in contradiction of earlier comments, is 'odd' at best, but not at all 'surreal'.

  • 149.
  • At 03:49 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • John Hicks wrote:

John Presscot - great work if you get it? Most pensioners "work" for over forty years and still get nothing much for their efforts. How can I become an MP and start feathering my nest?

  • 150.
  • At 05:39 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • david M wrote:

LOL, with that pajama debate ongoing i thought i'd take a look for some and found these from the BBC no less
with Union Jack, a straight backed palace guard, London’s ubiquitous red double-decker bus, and the royal crown no less :)

Nick can now look forward to being invited to the best pajama partys around westminster perhaps.

MRH 101 wants pictures, LOL, i wonder if the BBC will take up the mpeg4-avc
and start video-blogging the off air
stuff, here, now that might be something to get concerned about :)

can the tech crew please set these blog pages to not cache please as it doesnt update properly saying theres x no. of replys but only showing the last update you open, shift/click doesnt always work eather, im on NTL if thats the problem ?.

"you can go from being in bed to attending a resignation statement in exactly seven minutes."

You can make it in 5, if you've got the b***s to go naked... ;^)

  • 152.
  • At 07:12 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • Anne Wotana Kaye wrote:

Did he find his desk emptied and was he handed a cardboard box with all his belongings in? Also, was he escorted out by a security guard?

  • 153.
  • At 10:28 PM on 06 May 2006,
  • Andrew Waddington wrote:

Def 2 much info their Nick, I was just about to eat a lettuce and ham sandwich, my appetite has totally dissapeared :(

  • 154.
  • At 12:29 AM on 07 May 2006,
  • Adrian wrote:

Nik, Love you as we do - stick to the politics and leave descriptions of your bedrrom attire to discussions with your diary secretary!

  • 155.
  • At 12:38 AM on 07 May 2006,
  • Jim Weir wrote:

I reckon that a typical Tony sleaze stunt is to cut the number of backbench labour rebels by getting his loyal members into the back benches among them and therefor cut the rebels numbers. Why else the sudden change of heart? It sounds sleazy to me...

  • 156.
  • At 11:08 AM on 07 May 2006,
  • Pamela Stewart wrote:

There can never be too much info. It's all in a day's work, isn't it, Nick? Keep up the good work.
Besides, my stomach is already well braced after Court Jester Prescott's fiasco. It can take anything now.

  • 157.
  • At 10:27 AM on 08 May 2006,
  • Harry Davies wrote:

Is this blog entry an early draft of a sketch for comic relief?

I hope so!

  • 158.
  • At 12:51 PM on 08 May 2006,
  • Raymond Daniel-Davies wrote:

Dear Nick,
I learnt one thing from Norman (now Lord) Tebbit: always wear pyjamas when sleeping in an hotel: you can never be sure you are not going to be pulled from the wreckege on Breakfast TV.
Keep up the excellent work!

Despite there being TOO MUCH INFORMATION in your blog it certainly brightened a boring work day up for me.

It also set me wondering how you managed to get across Westminster in 7 minutes-this is quite a feat and a couple of colleagues and myself were able to waste sometime figuring out how you did it.


  • 160.
  • At 03:13 PM on 07 Aug 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

ah, memories

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