Education Minister Ruth Kelly is under pressure again after it was revealed that a convicted axe murderer, Reginald Pox was cleared to teach in a secondary school in spite of being on the Axe Murderer's Register.
"There are axe murderers and then there are axe murderers and we have to look at each case on its merits." Said Kelly. "Obviously there are some axe murderers who would not even be considered for employment with children but this is a special case. All the safeguards are in place, Mr Pox has not killed for several years and it was written into his contract that he must not come into contact with any axes. Any breach of his contract could result in severe disciplinary action. He could even be dismissed if he actually murdered someone using an axe, and I mean anyone, not just a child in his care."
Reginald Pox gained notoriety when in 1968 he murdered 23 nuns in a frenzied attack using a wood cutter's axe. Pox always claimed extreme provocation from his victims, a group of Carmelite Nuns who Pox said called him names and stole milk from his doorstep. Pox always insisted that he had gone to discuss his grievances with the nuns who attacked him with the axe, engraved with the name, Reg, which he wrested from them and then used to defend himself.
Prison psychologist Dr Philip Slug insists that Pox no longer represents a danger to the public. Pox is said to be a reformed character after spending 35 years in a high security hospital for the criminally insane. While incarcerated, he became a Buddhist and completed a Masters Degree in Flower Arranging, Vivisection and Amputation.
"It wasn't his fault." Says Slug "He had a very difficult childhood which he has now come to terms with, and even if he hadn't, anyone could have reacted in the same if they were provoked by a bunch of black clad women wielding axes. I've met him on several occasions and as long as he keeps up with his medication, I see no problems at all with him working with children. I haven't got any children myself but if I did I would probably feel OK about Reg Pox working with them."
Ruth Kelly is now facing an uncertain future with public confidence in her and her department at an all time low but Prime Minister Tony Blair is backing his minister to the hilt.
"I've known her for years and I've always had a great admiration for Gene, err, Rose? No sorry, Ruth Kelly and her intellect, determination, work ethic and the way she always does exactly what she's told without question. Yeah, she'll probably have to go but I'll let her suffer a bit more first."