The WSJ understands that the Department for Work and Pensions is in a state of panic this week after a Money Marketing hack escaped from DWP Towers with Steve Webb’s ministerial box.
While filming an interview at the department’s London offices, political reporter Steve Tolley waited until Webb had his back turned, then swiped the red box and hid it in his camera bag.
MM is particularly miffed because rather than bringing it back to the office to furnish them with scoops, Tolley disappeared with the red case before moving to Australia.
Returning reporter Sam Dale has since resumed responsibilty for the politics patch and has unearthed the incriminating snap of Tolley.
So desperate is Webb to get his box back that WSJ understands he has put up £144 of his own money as a reward, equal to one week of the single tier pension – a policy that he once pulled out of it. So keep your eyes peeled and you could retire one week early.
Disclaimer: No ministerial careers were damaged in the making of this diary story. The red box was an empty one on display in the DWP.