Diary: 'Nasty man' lurks in background at Leveson


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The Independent Online

Ray Bellisario, one of the original paparazzi, who was annoying the royals when everyone else treated them with deference half a century ago, is not pleased with Lord Justice Leveson.

He had written to the Leveson Inquiry because last year The Sunday Times allowed Lord Snowdon, former husband of Princess Margaret, to have a pop at him, calling him "a nasty man" who allegedly lurked in the background when the royal couple were on holiday waiting for the Princess to fall over.

What is exercising the ageing snapper is that the inquiry team are in no hurry to answer the letter he sent them more than two weeks ago, so he has written to them again.

"Dear Offensive Friends," his latest communication begins. "Because you think you have the divine right to set limits, I write in the not too wishful hope that you might take it upon your learned and qualified selves to be polite enough to respond to this letter, notwithstanding the fact that you have failed to reply to anything I have written to you ever since you got uptight about me expressing, perfectly legally, myself to yourselves."

There is more, but you get the drift.


Forget chocs, you could be in Homs

One name missing from the voting list when the Commons voted on the Health Bill last week was Sarah Wollaston, the GP turned Tory MP who is not normally absent when the NHS is on the agenda.

She revealed the reason in an interview on Radio Totnes. She was called away by the police because her London flat had been burgled and trashed. This upset her so much that, as she revealed on Twitter, she has abandoned an attempt to give up chocolate for Lent.

Nasty – but by her own admission this is "nothing" compared with the plight of one of her Totnes constituents, Paul Conroy, the photographer who was injured by the rocket that killed Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin, and is still trapped in Homs.


Women won't welcome DSK to Cambridge

Trouble is brewing over an invitation to Dominique Strauss-Kahn to speak at the Cambridge University Union on 9 March. The union's Women's Campaign has organised an online petition, which has attracted hundreds of signatures, calling for the invitation to be withdrawn. It says it feeds a "culture of silence and shame around rape." But Katie Lam, President of the Union Society, told the student newspaper The Tab that "The Union stands for free speech and providing a neutral platform for it. Inviting any speaker doesn't imply endorsement or indeed disapproval."


Mess with Dafydd and you'll sleep with the fishes

Llewellyn Morris Humphreys, alias Murray the Hump, is one of the few Welshmen to feature prominently in the annals of US crime. He rose to be the financial brains of the Chicago crime syndicate built up by Al Capone, and is reputed to be the model for the Tom Hagen character in The Godfather.

He was also, we learn from a documentary on the Welsh television channel, S4C, a third cousin of Dafydd Wigley, the former Plaid Cymru MP. Do not mess with Welsh Nats, or you'll be sleeping with the fishes.


BNP boss exposed to 'flashist' jibe

In case you missed it, the grubby story of Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, allegedly exposing himself to a woman he had been harassing produced a classic tabloid headline in Sunday's Daily Star: "You're a Dirty Flashist."