‘Hi Jeremy, I’m calling you to offer you your old job back’

To: Don Wise

From: Paul Servant

Re: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, Hunt to Hunt

Your Humble Servant has obtained a transcript of the phone call when prime minister David Cameron reappointed Jeremy Hunt as health secretary:

PM: Jeremy, how are you? Fabulous to be chatting again at last.

JH: Oh prime minister, congratulations on an amazing victory.

PM: I’m pretty amazed myself and can’t believe we got away with the NHS thing.

JH: Our policy was triumphant.

PM: Policy? What policy? “Love, love, love; passion, passion, passion; pump, pump, pump.” Lynton was right, hug the didgeridoo out of the NHS and you can get away with anything.

JH: And of course my work on quality, inspections and special measures made a difference.

PM: Did it? I told you to keep it quiet, and you popped up all over the place. Then to cap it all, you went and promised eight billion quid. Where do you think that’s coming from? We’ve got no more aircraft carriers to sell, nor Olympics to pimp and no royal jubilees to highjack. Anyway, I’m calling you to offer you your old job back.

JH: Well I guessed that, as I’m last on the list, and there’s nothing else left.

‘For God’s sake Jeremy, keep your ideas to yourself’

PM: Nothing is always an option, Jeremy.

JH: Thank you, prime minister. I’ve got some really interesting ideas about new health policy.

PM: Well for God’s sake keep them to yourself. I put Simon in charge of all of that, so just do what he says. “View, vision, billion, love, passion, pump”, that’s all you need to do. Got it?

JH: Err, yes. With a bit of Mid Staffs thrown in?

PM: If it keeps you happy. By the way, I’m backing Burnham for Labour leader.

JH: Really? Why?

PM: Because no health secretary has ever become prime minister.

End Game: Ministers for plague and sunscreen