Diary: The wrong qualm of the law

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The Independent Online

Lord Sugar favours a robust police response to riots and looting, or so he told ITV's This Morning following the recent unrest.

"I'm personally sick and tired of listening to this pussyfooting around," he said, his face wrinkling like an angry

testicle. "When I was a kid, a policeman was someone you looked up to and respected ... And that's all gone... because of the laws in Europe, or whatever it is, where everybody has to be treated, you know, with kid gloves."

Tough new laws need to be implemented to give the police more leeway, the Apprentice peer announced, before making a troubling admission: "I'm a member of the House of Lords, and I'm the first to admit that I don't understand how one gets new laws through." Might be worth finding out then, eh?

* The indomitable Kay "Hurly" Burley – soft-porn novelist, Sky News presenter and three-time recipient of What Satellite TV magazine's "Most Desirable Woman on TV" award – has hit back at commentators who criticise her for her looks and on-screen attire. "Those who, quite frankly, should know better, still feel it's completely acceptable to offer a view on my skin, my hair or my frock," Ms Burley tells She magazine. This column attempts, where possible, to focus on Ms Burley's work instead. For example, her claim on 11 September, 2001, that "the entire eastern seaboard of the United States" had been "decimated by a terrorist attack", which is now thought to have been inaccurate. A quick Twitter search during her post-riot coverage suggests she may have a point, however. Though some limit their judgements to her journalism (@lukeymoore: "Burley is an unintelligent, reactionary, low-quality broadcaster"), others do seem unaccountably preoccupied with her appearance (@Candy2802: "Kay Burley has a weird mouth. Fact").

* "Generally an audience is much more judgmental about the appearance of a woman on TV," Ms Burley goes on. "Would they be as disparaging about one of my male colleagues?" No, it appears they would not. For in yesterday's Telegraph, the comely columnist Bryony Gordon composed a love note to Sky's intrepid "Man in Clapham", Mark Stone, who famously confronted looters on cameraphone on Monday evening. "Beefcake, hunk, my hero," she gushed. "A Sky News reporter who makes Buzz Lightyear look like Postman Pat... [a] chiselled god of news." Sadly for Miss Gordon, Mr Stone is married – though her column has been warmly received by his fellow staffers at Sky, who now reportedly refer to him as "Chisel".

* Public service seems to run in the Hague family. The Foreign Secretary's father, 83-year-old Nigel Hague of Rotherham, is due to perform a charity skydive above Bridlington tomorrow on behalf of the NSPCC. Hague Snr has already raised £7,000 for the stunt, but this pales next to the £51,000 he generated when he climbed Scafell Pike in the Lake District two years ago. "At my age in order to raise a lot of money for charity, you have to do something different," he says. "I hope the weather holds out." Send us a picture, Nigel!

* As I noted yesterday, Justice Secretary Ken "the other Ken" Clarke doesn't much care for interruptions when he's on his hols. His automated out-of-office response to emails (urgent or otherwise) unhelpfully informed recipients that his inbox was "closed" from 20 July to 5 September. So it's little wonder he was a touch befuddled to be back for the post-riot recall of Parliament. According to sources, Clarke arrived at Downing Street in his ministerial car yesterday, only to check his folder and realise he was supposed to be at the Cabinet Office instead. He told his driver he could walk there instead, and promptly shuffled off.

* The Kate Moss wedding album, photographed by Mario Testino, has finally been published in the US edition of Vogue. One image, taken at the celebrity-packed reception, reveals that Naomi Campbell, Sir Philip Green and David Walliams were all seated at the same table.

Oh, to have been a fly in the soup.