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The Independent Online
Quite why Norman Lamont chose an off-licence as the campaign headquarters for his bid for the Tory leadership is far from clear. Perhaps it is because he wants to appear as a New Man, doing all the shopping and carrying to help out his wife.

Rosemary Lamont's limited appearances have been almost as pointed as John Redwood's refusal to back John Major. The other woman in Lamont's life - Sara Dale, aka Miss Whiplash - chose to speak up yesterday. The self-styled sex expert whom Norman evicted from his basement told the People: "He is not fit to run a doghouse let alone the country."

She was just one of several women used yesterday to enliven the battle of the men in grey suits.

Teresa Gorman clarified her leadership ambitions by announcing "I am a bomb." (She has just said that Tory policies needed a bomb under them)

The News of the World carried three pictures of Mr Major with a mystery blonde at the Lord's Test, giggling uncontrollably at one of his jokes. (The woman was revealed as the mother of Mark Nicholas, the Hampshire cricket captain) The paper disclosed that Major had told constituency party chairmen earlier in the day, "I am not in this job for the perks", before setting off in his chauffeur-driven Jag to watch the match from a private box.

The Mail on Sunday meanwhile ran its style slide-rule over the women who may become chatelaine of Number 10.

Michael Portillo emerges as a kept man. Carolyn Portillo earns pounds 300,000 a year as a headhunter, pays for their grand house and holidays at "music festivals in Bavaria".

Gail Redwood's love affair with her husband was, apparently, forged in her mind. Gail is deputy company secretary of British Airways, but more significant for the Mail is the fact that she has "little personal vanity, allowing her blond hair to turn grey naturally and wearing little make- up". (In Mailspeak that means she will need a thorough makeover before being allowed through the door)

Appearance is not something Anne Heseltine, chain-smoking wife of Michael need worry about, the paper says: "She once dressed in leathers for a charity cabaret called 'Bitch in Boots' " - so staff could look forward to some wild parties under her.

Which brings us back to Rosemary. Her contribution to the campaign has been to tell reporters gathered round her house: "You are so bloody stupid the lot of you." With a PR touch like that to contend with, no wonder Norman buys the milk.

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