Mike O’Brien, so successful as a junior minister that he has been one almost continuously since 1997, has an unfortunate habit of upsetting civil servants.

So End Game wonders if one was indulging in sweet revenge last week when preparing Mr O’Brien’s papers for a parliamentary debate on the health bill.

The minister had just started introducing the government’s surprise concession to mental health foundation trusts (allowing them to take private patients) when he had to stop short, explaining his speaking notes were not in order.

“They have just been reorganised, and I think that those who reorganised them did so somewhat more efficiently than they should have,” Mr O’Brien told the speaker.

He won’t win any popularity prizes for blaming his civil servants for that one either.