Dame Helen Ghosh’s words about women and David Cameron’s government have put Downing Street backs up this afternoon. Dame Helen, whose Civil Service career spanned thirty-three years culminated in a troublesome spell as Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, told Cambridge students it was ‘difficult for women to get in’ when the Prime Minister favoured his male school chums.

Lines such as ‘women don’t network. It is actually quite difficult for a woman to get in as part of an Old Etonian clique. They are far too busy doing other things’ have gone down particularly badly.

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However, I hear that Dame Helen was not totally adverse to a bit of networking. So keen was she to make a good impression — and presumably further the feminist cause —­ that she used to bake cupcakes and distribute them at the Home Office.

While complaining about the her lack of time to make it to the top, Dame Helen seems to have forgotten that she boasted in February that she only worked four days a week.

Tags: Civil Service, dame helen ghosh, David Cameron, Downing Street, Home Office