The Secretary of State for Social Affairs is having a meeting with Number Ten's Chief Political Advisor. There have been press rumours that the Minister is to be sacked. The Minister is told that none of these stories have come from Number Ten. However, now they're out there, Number Ten would look weak not to sack him. So he's sacked. His replacement as Minister for Social Affairs takes office. And so starts The Thick of It, featuring an ensemble of the best British comic actors, improvising scripts from the sharpest British comedy writers.
The Minister for Social Affairs, Hugh Abbot, gets a very focused focus group in to tell him which one of two contradictory policies to go for. Meanwhile, Number Ten's enforcer, Malcolm Tucker is concerned the Minister is out of touch.