In the latest episode of Tea at 22, I interviewed Conservative business and energy minister Michael Fallon on his work in two Whitehall departments, Tory EU policy, and the party’s approach to Ukip. Fallon was the Spectator’s Minister of the Year for 2013.

He had some very interesting points about how the Business department in particular might look different under a Tory majority government, suggesting that the Lib Dems had held the Tories back in getting more young people into work. Asked whether the Lib Dems had left the labour market rather more gummed up than the Tories would like, Fallon said:

‘Yes we would certainly have liked to have gone further, certainly for people starting in their first job or whatever, there are far too many people who are now working for nothing as interns when actually they should be able to get their first leg on the ladder.’

He explained that help for young people starting out might mean a slimmed down package of employment protection to make it easier for firms to hire them:

‘Do they really need the full panoply of employment protection and all those kind of rights when they’re just starting off?’

On Ukip, he argued that ‘we need to front up to Ukip, you know, and not run away from them, we need to take them on on their own arguments’. You can listen to what Fallon’s own strategy would be for Nigel Farage’s party in the video above.

Tags: Coffee House interview, Conservatives, Employment rights, Europe, Michael Fallon, Tea at 22, UK politics, UKIP