The justice secretary didn’t get what he hoped for on a trip to Old Trafford.

Being a cabinet minister isn’t all glamour. Lord chancellor Chris Grayling’s latest entry in the Ministry of Justice Gifts and Hospitality Register (October to December 2013) shows him tucking in to half a dozen free lunches or dinners, but having to sit with journalists from the Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, the Times and the Daily Mail.

We have no idea what was talked about, but two weeks after its lunch the Daily Mail splashed the headline ‘1,000 lawyers paid at least £100,000 a year from the public purse’.

The register shows the minister did receive some respite in December, with a director’s box at Manchester United to the value of £150.

Sadly it can’t have been a great day for Grayling, who lives in Surrey and is therefore, inevitably, a Reds fan. His team suffered its second defeat of that week, going down at home to Newcastle for the first time since 1972. Still, the prawn sandwiches were doubtless tasty.