He’s 56 years old and a House of Commons veteran in charge of the UK’s £9 billion aid budget.
But Birmingham MP Andrew Mitchell has revealed he still receives advice – from his father.
His father David Mitchell was an MP for more than 30 years, from 1964 to 1997.
Although retired from the House of Commons, he continues to tell his son where the Government is getting it wrong.
Mitchell junior, the MP for Sutton Coldfield and Secretary of State for International Development, revealed the fatherly advice in an interview with magazine Total Politics.
His 84-year-old father sends articles cut from the Daily Mail criticising the Government, annotated with question marks and underlinings, he said.
David Mitchell was Conservative MP for Basingstoke from1964 to 1983, and MP for North West Hampshire from 1983 to 1997.
It meant that father and son were in the Commons together for a period, as Andrew Mitchell was MP for Gedling in Nottinghamshire from 1987 to 1997.
Andrew became a minister responsible for social security in John Major’s government. There was hilarity in the Chamber when his father, a backbencher, rose to criticise his son over the performance of the Child Support Agency.
In the same interview, Mr Mitchell spoke of his admiration for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
He said: “To me, she was a goddess. When she walked down the corridors, I used to stand stiffly to attention and hope she would pass by.
“She had a habit of asking difficult questions. In the tea room she would come in and talk about the state of the money supply, which was always a frightening experience.”
And he defended the Government’s policy of ring-fencing the UK aid budget, even though other departments have been forced to cope with cuts.
As well as helping people in other countries, aid spending made the UK safer, he said.
Highlighting Somalia as an example, he said: “Somalia is an exporter of terrorism, drugs, piracy, disease and people. People leave Somalia for a better life. If you can tackle the causes of poverty and dysfunctionality, it is much cheaper and more cost-effective than to tackle the symptoms, as we are in Afghanistan.”
Mr Mitchell has announced further British support for refugees fleeing violence on the Sudanese border.