An awarding day sends spin doctors into a whirl; City Diary

Hectic scenes yesterday as Sir David Simon, chairman of BP, picked up the prestigious KPMG Businessman of the Year award. At lunch time the press office at accountants KPMG had to pick up an award of their own first - the Public Relations Sword of Excellence, for their leadership programme with rugby hero Will Carling.

The spin doctors then had to charge across London from the Intercontinental Hotel to the Savoy, where industry grandees such as Sir Colin Marshall of British Airways were waiting to present their award to Sir David. Everything went off smoothly, including the after lunch speech by Peter Mandelson, Labour MP for Hartlepool and no mean spin doctor himself.

No doubt Gordon Brown's accusation a fortnight ago that accountants like KPMG were "peddling lies" about Labour's tax plans was long forgotten.

Embattled Ken Clarke stuck up two fingers at the Eurosceptic right wing of the Conservative Party yesterday by recruiting two new special advisers to Treasury ministers - one from the BBC and one from the European Parliament.

It is hard to decide which will cause most frothing at the mouth by the Gorman Tendency. Anthony Teasdale has been appointed as Special Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and joins from the Conservatives in the European Parliament, where he was Senior Policy Adviser and previously Head of their London Office.

Paul Gardner has been appointed as Special Adviser to the Rt Hon William Waldegrave, MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Gardner joins from the BBC's On the Record programme. Good luck chaps - you'll need it.

ITV were leaving nothing to chance last night with their live interview of OJ Simpson. All the questions put by Granada TV's Richard and Judy were prepared by an unimpeachable outside expert - Gary Solis, legal affairs adviser with ITV's arch rivals Sky News. They'll have Rupert Murdoch reading News at Ten next.

An extremely tanned and relaxed-looking Sir Rocco Forte was seen lunching at the Savoy Grill yesterday, one of London's most important sites for power lunching. One wag was heard to comment that the Savoy must be one of the few hotels in London not wholly owned by Grenada, Sir Rocco's nemesis. Whatever, the Forte scion looked to be happy to be relieved of the burden of such a big business...

There was wry laughter from workers in London's Canary Wharf yesterday, the Independent amongst them, when the four organisations chosen to tender for the franchise to the Docklands Light Railway were announced.

The DLR, Canary Wharf's main link with central London, has become a byword for delays. At the moment it receives revenues of pounds 9m a year against pounds 23m costs. One of the potential franchisers is Docklands Area Rapid Transit, a joint venture between Go-Ahead Group and VIA GTI. If they can make the DLR truly "rapid" they will have performed a miracle.

Forget Sid, the most enthusiastic private shareholder in the world must surely be Nicolae, his Romanian counterpart. Over 95 per cent of the adult population have opted to invest directly in companies via Romania's Mass Privatisation Programme. All citizens over 18 were given coupons to invest, and could opt for five-year investment funds or direct investment. The subscription period has just closed and the figures for investing in one firm have exceeded all expectations. Nicolae will trade his shares on a Nasdaq-style system. I hope he knows that shares can go down as well as up.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific