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Wednesday 5th September 2012 | 22:08
On a day when 29 ministers have been told they've got the chop, it's perhaps time to think of the departed.
After receiving the bad news in the PM's office in the Commons (an exit lounge away from the cameras of Downing St, at least), ministers have different reactions. Some burst into tears, some turn to Twitter to vent their frustration, some plot revenge.
But here's one ex-minister who proves it's still possible to take the axe with dignity.
Charles Hendry was a Minister of State well liked by all. Opponents on the energy brief respected him, while Tory colleagues have long seen him one of the genuine nice guys of the Commons. He was competent and decent. He didn't do anything wrong, but his time just ran out.
Well, tonight, he's written this farewell email to colleagues and civil service staff. A cynic would say it shows just why he was sacked - because he has gone easily and won't kick up a fuss.
But a more generous interpretation would be this: he is indeed a class act.
No Minister can ever have been so fortunate to work with so many brilliantly talented, inspiring, dedicated and enjoyable people, as I have had the privilege to do at DECC over the past two and half years.
Leaving a Department is never easy for a Minister, but I leave DECC only with thanks that I have been part of such a motivated and energetic team. Over the past couple of years we have collectively achieved so much in many different areas, and I firmly believe that has put us on course to deliver energy security, in a genuinely low-carbon way, whilst always looking at the interest of consumers. We needed to recreate a new electricity model for the UK, and we are well on the way to doing so.
That we have been able to make such progress owes much more to the ideas, expertise and focus of the officials that make up DECC than to individual Ministers. I know we have often been challenging – at times excessively so! – but you have all always sought to deliver in a way that minimises the downsides.
There have been so many great moments. We’ve made policy breakthroughs; we’ve changed the system fundamentally and managed to do so with an extraordinary amount of support from stakeholders; we have created a new interest in investing in our energy infrastructure. You have made meetings interesting (and understandable!); you’ve taken me to the most fascinating and awesome places in the UK and overseas; and throughout you have shown a dedication and diligence which is the best possible example of the professionalism of the civil service.
It’s been two wonderful years. It has been my privilege to work with the most outstanding group of people, anyone could ever hope to know. Some of you I have got to know better than others, but I also know that behind the advice and the subs have been incredibly diligent and dedicated teams. Thank you for all you have done and thank you for making it such a pleasure.
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