English-Speaking Union 1066 (Hastings) Branch

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At our Christmas lunch, Amber Rudd MP, our chief guest, gave an intriguing account of life behind the scenes at the Houses of Parliament.

One day in the corridor George Osborne said to her: “Would you like to be my PPS (Parliamentary Private Secretary)?” She said: “Yes!” and that was it. She found it most interesting to be the person who controlled and scheduled back-benchers’ access to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Then she got a note instructing her to appear in 10 Downing Street at 12.15pm precisely on a certain day. She knew only that it would be for a ministerial appointment but there was no indication of which ministry. She and others in the waiting room excitedly discussed who would get what. When the Prime Minister told her it would be Energy and Climate Change, she was delighted as she passionately believes we must develop solar power.

She regaled the Prime Minister with an anecdote about her campaign to be elected.

Candidates had been instructed to tell voters to “Vote Blue!” She decided to tell them to choose another colour. “Vote Amber!”

An excellent lunch was provided by Cooden Beach Golf Club. Our next event will be a Winter Warmer Lunch on Wednesday, January 7. Details m.plumbe@btinternet.com.