Lack of hospitality is Ed-ache for press pack

Sorry to hear that Ed Balls, the new Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, has already managed to irritate that worthy group called education correspondents.

"He invited us to a lunchtime news briefing the other day and there wasn't even a sign of a drink, let alone a bag of crisps," says one with a sharpened pencil. "Things can't go on like this."

The scribe adds: "The Tories were quite good in this regard, actually. Gillian Shephard [Conservative Education Secretary, now Baroness Shephard of Northwold] used to find us chillies and wine."

C'mon Ed, surely you can do better in the hospitality stakes!

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