Former pensions minister says time in Cameron's government was like being in detention

James Nickerson
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Altmann said she can do more good outside of government (Source: Getty)

A former pensions minister has said that her time spent in David Cameron's government was like being in detention, with lasting effects on her health.

“It has been the most terrible experience for me,” Ros Altmann said.

Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle, she said that she felt “micro-controlled”, adding “it affected my health without question. It’s a very uncomfortable experience”.

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"It has been the most terrible experience for me. I have felt under pressure the whole time; you have been squished and squashed in every direction and you just want to explode sometimes. It affected my health without question. It's a very uncomfortable experience," she said.

"I can do more good from the outside because I won't be silenced anymore.

"The instructions I had were: 'If any journalist phones you; then they are always out to trick you and trap you'.‚Äč

"What I found difficult was not being able to explain policy to the media; and thereby to the public in an open and honest way; which is what I have always done."

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She added: "Now and again I was very naughty, and I would actually speak to a journalist and take the consequences because I thought: 'Stuff it, I have had enough of this'.

"But then you get called in to see the Secretary of State. It's like being in school, like being in the naughty corner or detention."

Earlier this week Altmann told the Financial Times that she had been frozen out of talks around Tata Steel after having voiced concerns that the rescue plan could rip up the UK's pension plan.

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