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RE-SHUFFLE RUMOURS continue to echo down the corridors of Westminster. "It's going to be a Big One," they're saying, as if the Government was planning a re-enactment of the San Francisco earthquake. The second week in July is mentioned often, although Pandora suspects the final week of July is just as likely. Transport Minister Gavin Strang has strapped on his parachute and seems to have one foot already out of the plane. Indeed, his job itself seems destined to leave the Cabinet to make way for a Minister for Women (keeping Harriet Harman at the table) or possibly a Cabinet-ranked Employment Minister (with Ian McCartney replacing Baronness Blackstone?). Meanwhile, as Pandora has previously reported, the future role of Peter Mandelson remains the most controversial question. One insider suggests that he could be appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, replacing David Clark, who has been primarily concerned with information technology issues and the fledgling Freedom of Information Act. In Mandy's grasp, the post would become a "Cabinet Minister for the Cabinet" position. However, the Crown requires a Chancellor of the Duchy to wait upon the Queen with great subservience whenever she happens to visit Lancaster. It's not difficult to imagine how much Mandelson would enjoy this aspect of the job. Is Lancaster ready for its first earthquake?

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NED SHERRIN, theatre impresario, after-dinner speaker and die-hard Tory, is gung-ho in his support for Ken Livingstone for Mayor of London. The producer told Pandora: "I will vote Labour for the first time if Ken Livingstone is allowed to stand by "Little Blair". But what about the Tory candidacy of Steven Norris, who seems to have surged past Lord Archer in recent days? "Norris might have enough charisma to keep five mistresses but that's another matter," he said, as he made his exit with delighted cries of, "Vote, Ken! Vote Ken!"

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YESTERDAY, Pandora reported on author John le Carre's sudden and mysterious sacking of his American publisher. One possible explanation: it seems Sonny Mehta, editor-in-chief of US publishers Alfred A Knopf, is also a good friend of Salman Rushdie. Some months ago, Le Carre and Rushdie tried to roast each other alive with verbal flame-throwers in the pages of the Guardian. The various accusations and counter-accusations made by each were extremely tedious, and two of this country's most distinguished writers ended up losing a great deal of dignity. If Le Carre's departure from his publisher is truly on account of Mehta's friendship with Rushdie, then this feud has sunk below even the school-yard level. Perhaps it's time for Tony Blair to summon the two men to Downing Street for an all- night negotiating session.

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TONY BANKS, our forthright Sports Minister, has attracted the attention of at least one publisher who sees potential for a collection of Banks' witticisms. A recent example: thanking Tory MP Michael Fabricant for putting "the camp back into campanology" after a debate on church bells. Some of Banks' remarks have turned into rhetorical boomerangs, notably his comparison of William Hague to a foetus and his doubt about England's capacity to win the World Cup - a daring bit of candour from the nation's Minister for Sport. What to call this book is obviously a prime commercial consideration. Pandora suggests a motivational title: "Tony Banks' Own Goals"?

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ELSEWHERE IN the literary realm, creepy "Brat Pack" writer Bret Easton Ellis last appeared in print with American Psycho, a blood-and-brand- names slasher novel about a yuppie serial murderer. It's taken him a long time to come up with a worthy sequel, but his British fans (who should be required to register with the police) will be pleased to learn that Brett has completed his next opus. Entitled Glamorama, its plot is described as "super models who become terrorists." Kate and Naomi will have the support of Pandora should they decide to initiate a "fatwa" against the odious Easton Ellis.

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SINCE THE death of Linda McCartney, the tabloid press on both sides of the Atlantic has churned out ridiculous speculation about the remaining Beatles joining together for a tour of tribute. On Wednesday, Ringo Starr (below left) appeared on American television and told Barbara Walters, "No, because, as you well know, John Lennon is out of the picture... We would never go out as the Big Three - the Theetles."

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