Alastair Campbell just can’t let go

Brexit hater Alastair Campbell has been thinking about what he would do if he found himself sitting a few seats along from Boris Johnson at the theatre.

“Just before the play started… I would stand up and say, ‘A few years ago there was a referendum in this country and there was a vote of people’,” he tells the Rest Is Politics podcast. “‘I would like to have a vote of people in this theatre: who would prefer that the person who led that campaign was not in the same audience and would not contaminate the theatre with his presence? Can we have a vote?’ Is that childish?”

Er, yes it is, Alastair.

John who?

“The only people who recognise me now are London cab drivers because they’re old,” Monty Python star John Cleese told an audience in Guildford last Friday. “When I gave [the driver] the directions, I saw him look at me slightly strangely and I thought he’s thinking, ‘Where have I seen him before?’ I made a phone call. At the end of the call, he said, ‘Oh, I heard the voice of John Cleese.’ I said ‘That’s right’. He said ‘When you got in the cab I thought you were George Clooney.’”

Osborne ties the knot

Wedding bells are sounding for the former chancellor George Osborne and his fiancée Thea Rogers who, friends tell me, are getting married in early July. It is the second time round for Osborne, who has two children with his first wife Frances. He got together with Rogers a number of years after the pair first worked closely together at the Treasury. I understand George and Thea – who have two young children Arthur and Beau – have decided to escape the stress of the capital for their big day and get hitched near their country home in Somerset. Very sensible.

Sir Bill strikes early

Former whip Heather Wheeler and Tory grandee Sir Bill Wiggin have already thrown their hats into the ring to replace 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady, when he quits at the election. Wiggin has even written to colleagues. “Sir Graham will be leaving giant footsteps for us to follow in” and has “done an excellent job”, he begins before getting down to business.

“However at some time in the future we will of course need to elect a new chair. I hope you will not mind me asking for your support when that election occurs.” Despite noting that Brady is going nowhere soon, Wiggin adds: “An early indication would be deeply helpful.” A little hasty, Sir Bill?


The Oxford Union has been trying to get hold of deposits held in its name from NatWest bank, which has asked for its trust deed. Noting it last received the deed in 1975, NatWest has written to the Union asking for the names, addresses and dates of birth of the following trustees “who need to be identified and verified.

“Hon Maurice Harold MacMillan, Hon The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone of Herstmonceux, Hon Roy Harris Jenkins, Hon Robin Day and Hon The Lord Redcliffe-Maud”.

A very impressive list of trustees. But who is going to tell NatWest that the last of them – Roy Jenkins – died 20 years ago?

Stick to your pals, Fay

Cold Feet star Fay Ripley once threw a disastrous dinner party for an actress she admired, by preparing an eight-course taster menu. “I went overboard,” she tells the White Wine Question Time podcast. “She was so rude. She was on a diet, which she didn’t tell me about,” she says. The final straw was when Ripley pulled out her pavlova, with indoor fireworks. “She put her hand up to my face to go ‘No’, she didn’t want it. I swear I was so close to shoving it in her face.” Ripley adds: “I’m done with my heroes. I just want my mates round, sorry. Lesson learnt.”

Brighton rocks

My story last week of how security guards at Heathrow mistook the King’s Coronation cake for plastic explosives prompted reader Keith Appleyard to recall taking sticks of Brighton rock back to America as gifts.

“I packed two packs of 10 sticks in a pyramid formation,” he tells me. “There was consternation at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, as they looked like gelignite on the scanner. I had to unwrap a stick at random, and eat it to prove it was edible, all while under an attentive armed guard. I resisted suggesting they ‘take cover’ when I bit into it.”

Peterborough, published every Friday at 7pm, is edited by Christopher Hope, the Telegraph’s chief political correspondent and the author of the daily Chopper’s Politics newsletter. You can reach him at

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.

Source link

Leave a Comment