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BBC The Great Offices of State: 1. The Dark Department

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Published on Jul 11, 2012

©BBC UK

Three-part series in which award-winning reporter Michael Cockerell uncovers the secret world of Whitehall, showing what the trio of great offices - Home, Foreign and Treasury - are really like.

In his look at the Home Office - the ministry of law and order, immigration, MI5 and counter-terrorism - Cockerell blends fresh access filming with formerly unseen and rare archive, and interviews with present and past home secretaries and their senior officials.

Cameras follow Alan Johnson from the moment he became the sixth home secretary in twelve years, after the resignation of Jacqui Smith. Johnson is briefed by the Home Office spin doctor about what to say to story-hungry journalists waiting for him. 'The Home Office's job is to confront human evil', says one mandarin, 'but every person in the pub has his own view of how to do it and is his or her own home secretary'.

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