William Waldegrave, Secretary of State for Agriculture and a focus for Lord Justice Scott's arms-to-Iraq inquiry, is due to take the stand in another house today when he joins the traditional 12.30pm dialogue at St Mary Le Bow church in the City for an "unscripted discussion" on the future of the church followed by lunch. The Reverend Victor Stock, vicar of the church, has a reputation for attracting guest speakers at poignant moments in their careers. Last year the Employment Secretary, Michael Portillo, found himself there not long after his comments about the lifestyle of single women with children. Needless to say, they came back to haunt him.

Anything can happen in South Africa at the moment, not just English drop kicks which snatch victory in the last minutes. Life assurance does not normally generate much publicity, but when Old Mutual, South Africa's biggest life assurer, threw a party for its 150th birthday last week, guest of honour was none other than President Nelson Mandela himself. Not only did he turn up, but he said nice things about the company. Deputy president De Klerk also attended the bash. Although John Major has taken to making the Skipton Building Society's announcements in the House viz: the guarantee on mortgage repayments for the unemployment last week, it is hard to imagine John Major attending any party a UK life assurer might care to throw. Then again, would a life assurer want John Major at its party?

Everyone knows there is no love lost between the pools firms, particularly Littlewoods, owned by the Moores family, and the National Lottery. The saga took a rather ironic twist last week when the Dambrook Farm, near Settle in North Yorkshire, belonging to the late Sir John Moores, was sold to the National Trust. The Trust was understandably delighted to scoop up the beautiful property. The farm was on the market for pounds 790,000. The National Trust paid pounds 203,100, and the National Lottery coughed up the difference of pounds 586,900. Sweet revenge for the Littlewoods pool heirs, no doubt. A York newspaper quoted Alister Clunas from the National Trust saying rather more than he should on the matter in an off-the-cuff remark. Imagination is required, but the quote was later pared down to: "This is excellent news."

IFAs go floating around every year, and not just on any old boat. They gather for a three-day sojourn on the QE2 for their very own conference- on-the-water known as PIMS. Restrictions such as not being able to leave if you want to may fuel the conference's reputation for being a boozy affair. This year's was reported to be rather more sober than most. However, given that the ratio of men to women was 18:1, it was not a surprise to hear at least one delegate probably had a party of their own. Lost property reported that someone had left a wedding ring in a cabin.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Relations Officer

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Jemma Gent: Project Coordinator

£12 - £15 Hourly Rate: Jemma Gent: In this role you will report to the Head of...

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable