Andy McSmith's Diary: If Bootle’s not good enough for Euan Blair...

The eyes of ambitious Labour wannabes are focusing on Bootle, on Merseyside, where the long-serving MP, Joe Benton, has hit a spot of bother with his local party. He is over 80 years old. Incredibly, that would make him only the fourth oldest Labour MP in the post 2015 Parliament, but in Bootle they think that it is old enough, and have decided to hold a contest to select their next candidate.

Lord Hanningfield was found guilty of six charges of false accounting in relation to his expenses as a Parliamentary peer

Andy McSmith's Diary: Iain Duncan Smith’s unwanted army of jobless memorial cleaners

It would warm Tory hearts to see the unemployed preserve our heritage

Stop HS2 campaigners, some wearing masks of London Mayor Boris Johnson, were protesting outside parliament

Andy McSmith's Diary: Straight up, Stewart Jackson is no fan of gay marriage – or tofu for that matter...

Stewart Jackson, Tory MP for Peterborough, is no fan of gay marriage, which he has described as a “constitutional outrage” and “a disgrace.” He has accused David Cameron of being “arrogant” for giving it legal recognition.

Andy McSmith's Diary: The Ukip candidate who finds gay rights hard to swallow

Douglas Denny, a Ukip member, thinks that gays are abnormal. In January, the Sunday Mirror noted his contribution to an online forum where he wrote: “What irritates me is the way they and their leftie, neo-Commie followers seem to want to force the rest of us to consider them as normal. I just wish they would keep their homosexual nature and practices to themselves.”

Andy McSmith's Diary: A month in the lucrative life of Lord Hanningfield

November 2013 was the last full month that the old jailbird Lord Hanningfield was able to stroll in and out of the House of Lords to record his presence so that he qualified for his £300-a-day allowance, blissfully unaware that the Daily Mirror had photographic evidence of what he was up to. One pair of photographs showed that he spent just 21 minutes on the premises, earning himself a handy £14 a minute.

Daenerys Targaryen, the khaleesi played by Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones – but which MP would be the best dragon-keeper?

Andy McSmith's Diary: Boles gets a little distracted by a Westminster 'Game of Thrones'

As MPs reassembled after the weekend break, ministers from the Communities and Local Government Department assembled to focus their minds on the oral questions they were going to have to answer in the House. That, anyway, is what they should have been doing, but Nick Boles, a very clever junior minister, was focused on his handset, tweeting: “Distracted from Orals prep by this topical question: which of my colleagues would best fill the role of Khaleesi?”

Andy McSmith's Diary: It’s all about knowing your target (super) market, Dave

David Cameron picked an odd location to air his view that you are more likely to have an interesting conversation in Waitrose than any other supermarket. “I have got a piece of supermarket sociology, which is that there is something about Waitrose customers... they are the most talkative,” he told the staff today. “I found that if I shop in Waitrose it takes me about twice as long, as everyone wants to stop you and have a chat. Whereas in other supermarkets I find I can dart round very quickly and get everything. It is something about your customers, they are very talkative, engaged people.”

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