Minister for Transport Chris Grayling has added to his woes after a report on the Probation Service under his supervision lambasted him for incompetence, by incinerating two government buildings while trying to use office equipment without supervision.
Mr Grayling, affectionately dubbed The Human Question Mark by civil servants, is reported to have taken the stapler and started the fire during a brief window of time when his assistant/carer Simone Williams went to the toilet.
Ms Williams was defended by the Civil Service Union in an official statement.
It read: “Simone is a conscientious worker who has stopped Chris Grayling from eating decorative plastic fruit and giving Network Rail to some Nigerian chap he was in email contact with.
“However, staff cuts have meant she has had to shoulder the work of two people. Brief lapses of cover do happen and Chris Grayling uses these to start fires or sign shipping contracts with people who say they think boats are pretty.
“He can be remarkably cunning, in a primitive way. Like those pigs who always break out of their enclosures.”
In response to the fire, Downing Street maintained its official policy of never sacking Chris Grayling regardless of how badly he messes up or how much damage he causes.
Off the record, a senior official explained that loyalty to Theresa May was what kept Mr Grayling on the front bench.
“He has been a staunch ally of the Prime Minister ever since she gave him a toffee during a party conference.
“He might be a useless friend but he’s the only one she has. He’s also far too stupid to try for her job, which helps.”