To play first-class cricket is a redeeming feature for a Tory politician, says Paul Frame (M Star January 9).
In that case, I propose the Baron Jim Prior, who was belittled as "a wet" by Thatcherites for not being anti-union enough as Tory Minister for employment from 1979 to 1981, be so redeemed. At the time he was banished to Northern Ireland.
In his youth he had played football for Norwich City, and a great Norwich football fan was the communist Wilf Page (1913-2001), then a leading member of the Agricultural Workers' Union.
The two met in 1972 when Prior was minister of agriculture and was being driven to the Agricultural Wages Board talks where pay and conditions were being set.
Wilf, a member of the union's executive lobbying the talks, spotted Prior in his car and boldly opened the car door and got in.
Wilf later recalled that Prior was "wondering what the hell was going on."
"He had just given the farmers a £50 million fertiliser subsidy, so I shouted we want some of that £50 million. I was wearing a new set of false teeth and as I was shouting they shot out in his direction.
"I did a real Botham job in the slips and just managed to catch them before they landed on his trousers.
"He looked completely flummoxed. The rest of the boys killed themselves laughing as I tried to get my teeth back in as he went off."
The Agricultural Wages Board, which the Con-Dem government is now intent on abolishing, awarded a 20 per cent rise to bring the minimum rate to £19.50 a week. This was then overturned by the Heath government as part of its pay freeze. Eventually the rise was conceded six months later.