While the small business lobby will be cheering on their champion, I find myself more fascinated by another story that came out of our interview with the peer (published in today’s FT). It is the fact that Lord Young’s youngest daughter Judith is expecting her first child in a couple of weeks — at the age of 51.
David Cameron’s former business adviser, who has five grandchildren by his elder daughter Karen, is clearly delighted by this minor miracle. And so too I expect is Judith. In a moving interview in 2006 she revealed that she had tried to have a child through IVF. Not only did this fail but the treatment helped accelerate skin cancer. “In one day I was told “you have cancer” and “you can’t have children”, she said in a Sunday Times interview when she was 46. “Children are all I ever wanted and it’s taken me until now even to begin to come to terms with it. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.”
Now the only thing she’ll have to do is try to sort out some maternity cover for the events company she runs, although the one set piece she won’t have to fret about is the Labour party conference this year after Ed Miliband dropped her from his roster of providers.
“Tony Blair and Gordon Brown used to think it was a hoot that my daughter should be doing all their conferences,” says Lord Young. “That happened until Ed came along but he didn’t share the same sense of humour and I don’t think they have the money anymore.”