End Game is a passionate advocate of grown up debate, so of course we welcome any a ministerial letter that begins with the words, “I am very sorry”.

The penitent in question was Dan Poulter, who was appealing to shadow health minister Liz Kendall for forgiveness regarding “inaccuracies” in answers to two of her parliamentary questions.

These mishaps included getting financial information wrong by a factor of a thousand, and supplying incorrect information about the NHS England workforce due to the difficulties presented by “pulling together a number of different sources of information”. A mischievous reader might have mentally substituted the quoted phrase with “adding up”.

Dr Dan apologised that the Department of Health didn’t notice the errors before it released the information, and acknowledged that more mistakes had been made in similar publications.

The arrangements for verifying the accuracy of data provided to Parliament is under review, he added.

We heartily welcome Dr Dan’s innovative commitment to ensuring that the DH puts out information that is reliable and true.