Tom Watson has received word that a nameless minister “has had to apologise for a breach of the rules to do with the Oldham and Saddleworth by-election.” We suspect it relates either to purdah rules or to Section 20 of the Special Advisers Code of Conduct:

ii. if [the Special Adviser wants] to take part in a General, European or by-election campaign, or to help in a party headquarters or research unit during such a campaign, they must first resign their appointment.  If they wish their appointment to carry on during a campaign, they may continue to give assistance to their Minister as before, but they must be careful not to take any active part in the campaign.   They should not, for example, take part in public meetings or accompany their Minister to party political engagements which are related to the Election campaign;

So was anyone bunking off school to visit the Pennine foothills?

UPDATE 17:05 It was a purdah breach by DCLG minister Andrew Stunell. Labour Uncut has the official email from the Cabinet Secretary.

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  3. How very odd. Your say the Minister concerned was John Stunell, but your picture is of his atractive younger brother Andrew.

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