For the record: 28/09/2009

"Money well spent in the public interest," says Daily Telegraph assistant editor Andrew Pierce of the decision to spend £110,000 on files detailing MPs' expenses
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Portillo's politics

Some three years I sat with Michael Portillo in the study of his London townhouse as he explained that his life in media (documentary television maker, Sunday Times columnist) gave him little power compared to politics. "I don't kid myself for a moment that this has any influence on anybody.

Politics is being on the stage, and journalism is being in the wings," he said modestly. But in those same wings there are shadowy media figures who would certainly claim to have clout, the spin doctors whose ranks Portillo has now joined, having signed up as a consultant to Tim Allan's Portland PR agency, which is known for links to New Labour but is reaching out to the Tories. Maybe it shouldn't expect too much from Michael. Back in 2006 he told me: "I don't think I do bridge the two worlds [media and politics]. I'm not active or influential within the Conservative Party. I'm not even sure I'm a member of the Conservative Party any more."

World in a spin

Everyone's going into PR, even the Society of Editors, which is launching the "Editors Inc" consultancy "to help businesses with their corporate and public relations" offering organisations the chance to "benefit from the talents of editors and former editors". Will anybody be left on this side of the fence?

I should cocoa

His name is Nii Addo Quaynor, but you can call him "Tinny". With his Ghanaian rap-highlife track "Zingolo", he's the star of the new Cadbury Dairy Milk ad, a follow up to that man in the gorilla costume drumming away to Phil Collins. The campaign by Fallon is intended to show Cadbury's Fairtrade credentials. Tinny – pronounced "tiny" – is flogging the track (released on Glass and a Half Full Records) on iTunes and it's now hoped that he will be brought to Britain for some gigs.

You heard it here

Simon Cowell is taking The X Factor Stateside, the Hollywood Reporter announced on Thursday. Readers of this column, however, learned this news on 24 August.