Diary: I'm like Churchill, says Boris

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The Independent Online

Alleged babydaddy Boris Johnson has seen fit to modestly compare himself to fellow multitasker Winston Churchill, following criticism of his extra-curricular activities – (given the great man's reputation, I should clarify I'm merely referring to his ongoing literary and media commitments).

Having been cheekily called a "part-time mayor," Boris points out that like Churchill before him, he can happily juggle running jolly old London town with frankly more interesting pursuits, ta very much!

Indeed, he points out, even Adolf Hitler invading Poland didn't stop Winston from writing 20,000 words on the history of the English- speaking peoples. So if you don't think he can see off daft old Ken Livingstone – coincidently obsessed with comparing people to Nazis – while also doing what he bloody well likes, think again!

Boris helpfully suggests it might help the doubters to understand if they bought his latest tome, soon to be retailing in all good bookshops for £20 (signed copies £25).

* Following on from my report concerning David Miliband's generous decision to publicly throw his full weight being X Factor contestants Rhythmix, showbiz sources now inform me the group has abruptly decided on a change of name. This, I'm assured, has nothing to do with wanting to distance themselves from the ex-most successful Miliband brother. That said, I'm told there was an understandable sense of anti-climax after one of the girls regrettably mistook him for Tim Henman.

* Well-connected Labour MP Jack Dromey has let it be known he will be putting up quite a fight to prevent boundary changes to his Birmingham Erdington constituency. Party colleagues advise me that the former union chief, affectionately known as "Mr Harriet Harman" (not just randomly, he is married to her), isn't a bloke to be underestimated. I'm reminded the deputy Labour leader's other half overcame considerable odds when selected for the West Midlands seat. It was, after all, supposed to an all-women shortlist before unexplained forces came into play.

* Having not enjoyed the best of weeks courtesy of those Tory backbenchers getting all worked up over that damn referendum, some timely words from Government Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin. "They've got to realise that I and the office are there to try and help colleagues at all times," the old bruiser assures Total Politics magazine.

"Some people make that a bit more difficult than it should be, but we're there, basically, to try to help. What I say to all members is that you can get over these problems most of the time. You can get through it, you can sort it out. We can work through, providing both sides are open with each other about the consequences." Qualified translators of "Whip-Speak" suggest the ominous word to look out for is "consequences".

* Speaking as someone who has enjoyed plenty of wild sessions in sandwich chain Pret A Manger, I can appreciate how Milord Prescott reportedly spent £240 in one sitting during his time as deputy prime minister. While details emerged yesterday of Prezza's culinary purchases, word was the man's penchant for the Steak Burrito Hot Wraps proved his undoing. On a more negative note, there's mounting speculation he thought the Chunky Humous Salad Wrap "wasn't up to much".

* The week ended in disappointing fashion when I missed Lembit Opik's call. "Exciting news!" he said in the message. Sadly, he was otherwise engaged filming Celebrity Cage Fighter by the time I rang back. Reckon it will probably keep.