The Feral Beast: Passport to the editor's office

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The Independent Online

Alarming reports from The Guardian, where six catering staff were dramatically sacked last week over "irregularities with their papers".

According to the union they were swept out following consultation with the immigration authorities, and now face deportation. Naturally, staff are incensed but the knock-on effects are worse – all staff have been told to bring in their passports for "evidence of their identity/right to work in the EU". What, even Mr Rusbridger?

Swine flu fells demon Barber

Lynn Barber (right) aka the demon Barber of Fleet Street, has been down with swine flu. The interviewer was sentenced to her bed for two full weeks. "I didn't believe I had it at first, so I didn't bother with Tamiflu until several days later," she tells me. It couldn't come at a busier time for the Observer writer, who was forced to pull out of the Dartington Festival, where she was due to talk about her autobiography An Education. I'm pleased to report she has made a full recovery.

Bullingdon member exposed

More embarrassment for Jonathan Ford, fellow ex-Bullingdon member of Dave and Boris, whose antics are to be shown in a new film. His latest venture, a website for locals of Brook Green, west London, quickly removed a recommendation for a plumber after he was caught practising in the buff. Red cheeks all round!

Sunny days at the 'Sunday Times'

The champagne flowed at The Sunday Times's summer party last week, where Jemima Khan (right) joined columnists Rod Liddle and India Knight to toast the paper's ascendancy. The star of the night was Julie Burchill who, I can reveal, has been signed to write a column for the magazine, having given up her short-lived berth at The Obs. Much excitement too about the appointment of Eleanor Mills, Saturday Times editor , who is to write for 'News Review', with Rachel Johnson off to edit The Lady.

All the latest technology

The Daily Telegraph continues to pour money into its website, updating the blogs' layout. But has it concentrated on style over content? Among the "news" bloggers is Jonathan Petre. His last entry is dated, er, March 2007. And with good reason. The unfortunate Petre was sacked by the Telegraph not long afterwards – and is now with the Mail on Sunday.

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