Diary: Photogenic MP short of issues

One post-Murdochalyptic beneficiary will be the comely Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood, whose accomplished performance on the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday had many an irregular BBC Parliament viewer hurrying to Google her name. Obligingly, Ms Blackwood's personal website yields an array of images – and she is indeed a photogenic gal, as you can see. Unfortunately, her political passions remain something of a mystery. "Nicola is currently updating the information on the local and national issues which matter most to her constituency," is the solitary message on the 'Issues' page of her site. "Watch this space." Nicola, I surely will.

* Proof, as if proof were needed, that the media enjoy no story more than a story about themselves. While the Murdochalyptic mushroom cloud casts its shadow across the press and the news channels, coating even BBC Parliament in a layer of phone-hack fallout dust, beyond the blast zone an entire continent is in danger of financial meltdown. (Europe, FYI.) Still, economic issues are neither the remit nor the expertise of this column, which instead promised yesterday to look for looters in the deserted streets of News International's reputation.

Among said looters is hip-hop fan and Downing Street spin chief Craig Oliver, who profited from the fall of Andy Coulson by taking his job, and the £140,000 salary that went with it (see page 19). If, as rumours suggest, Oliver is keeping a diary of his time in No 10 (on his iPad?), then this month's events will provide a meaty chapter or more – perhaps as much as half the inevitable book version, should Boris Johnson succeed in unseating the PM prematurely, of which more later. I expect HarperCollins, News Corp's imprint, would pay Oliver a very handsome advance to secure his journal's contents.

* As touched on above, it seems alleged babydaddy Boris Johnson is engaged in an elaborate attempt to topple Dave Cameron, his one-time fellow Buller man. Not long ago, Lib Dem London long shot Lembit Opik was known to afflict those he backed with the "Curse of Lembit" (to wit: Kennedy, Hughes, Oaten, Laws). Now it is the incumbent Mayor whose support spells doom.

In 2010, Johnson described the phone-hacking allegations as "a load of codswallop". Then, last week, he stood four-square behind Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates, calling him "a robust and independent officer... doing a very important and effective job". Yates duly resigned, five days later. So I suspect Johnson's insistence yesterday that his old rival is doing "a first-rate job as PM" is nothing but a reverse psychological bluff, tempting fate to finish Dave off.

* Robert Peston's star rises ever further, thanks to a steady stream of scoops from inside NI. Now, I'm told, Peston has acquired semi-governmental powers, at least in the vicinity of Portcullis House, where this week he was spotted ordering a roadworks crew to cease their noisy drilling so that he might complete another of his gripping pieces to camera without interruption. They humbly obliged.

* As I reported yesterday, my attempts to commit the phone-hacking saga to celluloid have come to nought So I sympathise with the French screenwriters competing for the "Strauss-Kahn Story". According to Le Point, 17 film treatments of DSK's recent travails have been deposited with the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers in Paris. However, the magazine quips, it's unclear whether the movie will have a "happy ending".

* Last week, I noted that PR guru and ex-NOTW deputy editor Neil Wallis had mysteriously slipped from second billing on the website of the Outside Organisation – just below chief exec Alan Edwards – to the foot of the list, despite the fact that (according to his bio), "What [Neil] doesn't know about journalism and media isn't worth knowing." Now, even more bizarrely, Wallis's name has vanished from the site altogether. The man who knew too much?


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions