A Sussex MP has claimed popular TV programme Yes Minister is “an essential training manual” for politicians in high office.

Nick Herbert, who represents Arundel and South Downs, was asked if the show, which has been revised with a new cast on Gold TV channel, was a comedy or a real-life documentary.

He said: “For the public, Yes Minister is a comedy. But as a new Minister at the Home Office two and a half years ago, I soon realised it was an essential training manual.”

Mr Herbert added: “My experience in Whitehall made me question whether the model [of a politically-neutral Civil Service] still works.”