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The Independent Online
Brian Mawhinney may have his admirers as Tory Party chairman, but we have it on the authority of the Conservative Central Office chef that he is a dreadful cook, writes Paul Routledge.

Chandos Elletson, who spent a year as Tory HQ chef, is writing his memoirs, Recipe for Disaster, in which he discloses how he lovingly prepared sweet and sour pork for party workers, faithfully following a recipe by Dr Mawhinney - and it was "indescribably awful". Staff complained that it made them feel sick and refused to eat it.

The chef took his cue from a book of recipes by MPs on sale in the Central Office bookstore. "It contained a recipe for sweet and sour pork which must have been his favourite," he writes. "But when the first drop of sauce hit my tongue a horrible sensation ran right through me. It was revolting." But no one dared criticise it, because they knew that it was the chairman's favourite. A few months later, Mr Elletson quit Smith Square.

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