Diary: Chauvinism on tap brews up a Commons row


Someone call Louise Mensch. Top Totty has been banned from Parliament. "Disturbing" (Equality for Shadows Minister Kate Green) and "Outrageous" (full-time tweeter Sally Bercow) were among the measured reactions to the sale of a bawdily named guest beer in the Strangers Bar at Westminster. It was the "picture of a nearly naked woman on the tap" that so moved Ms Green to raise the matter in the Mother (outrageous!) of all parliaments. "I would very much regret it if any offensive pictures were on display in any part of the House," remarked Leader of the House Sir George Young. The beer – hoppy, with an initial burst of bitterness – is no longer on sale.


Band appeals for van on the run

A warning for all unsigned bands. If you receive a shock invitation to appear on Graham Norton's BBC1 chat show, don't leave the van containing all your instruments and clothes outside the driver's house.

Matthew Bennett, frontman with Birmingham band The Musgraves said: "We woke up on the morning of the recording to find that our van had been stolen. We lost everything including the special £200 shoes I was going to wear."

Desperate not to miss out on their big chance, the band dashed to Birmingham New Street station but discovered that all trains to Euston were cancelled.

Happily, they eventually made it to London and played live with borrowed instruments on the show, which will be broadcast tonight. Bennett wore his last pair of shoes, with the soles worn out.

After their brush with fame, The Musgraves will play at the Actress And Bishop pub in Birmingham tonight – if they can locate some instruments.

Bennett said: "It should have been the best day of our lives. I hope the people who took our instruments practise and form a good band."

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of a white Mercedes Sprinter van, Reg BD52 ARO, might just get in free tonight.

He was the main man, but now...

Leonardo Da Vinci, charlatan and fraud. In a week where a frankly far superior portrait of the Mona Lisa at the Prado in Madrid was revealed to have been painted by a Da Vinci lackey while the man himself looked on, it also appears that his Vetruvian Man (naked chap doing a starjump, circle round the outside) wasn't his own work either.

More than 25 years after a very similar but slightly older drawing was discovered in an obscure library, the Smithsonian magazine reports that Italian architect Claudio Sgarbi is about to publish papers naming the drawer as yet another Leonardo luvvie, a young but obscure contemporary called Giacomo Andrea Da Ferrara, who Sgarbi says, created his drawing in 1480 – years before Da Vinci's own picture was produced. "Everything started to fit perfectly, like in a puzzle," Mr Sgarbi told the magazine, at the end of more than two decades of research. Da Vinci? Puzzle? Now where have we heard that before? Indeed it does make one wonder what the big man did all day. Gallivant round Paris laying out some ridiculous treasure hunt?


Franglais won't get Boris far

Who knows what dark ambition whirs beneath the flaxen dome of the Mayor of London, but it seems the United States Presidency is right out. Opening the new shared pavement esplanade of Exhibition Road yesterday, Boris Johnson dared to entertain the Imperial College crowds with a speech given partly in that most worrisome tongue, French. Guileful protesters meant the Mayor had to compete with internal fire alarms for the last five minutes, but he apparently "used [them] to his advantage." Très bien, Monsieur le Maire.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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 People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam