Diary: Why Allegra Mostyn-Owen was always better off without Boris


In a touching interview in yesterday's Evening Standard, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, who married Boris Johnson 25 years ago, describes him as a better ex-husband than a husband. She said her ex had sent her a text message inviting her to join his Muslim Engagement Task Force – presumably on the strength of her having married a Muslim who is half her age.

But Mayor Johnson does not appear to have warned his office that he wants his ex-wife to be his adviser. After going away to check, a spokesman made the following statement on Ms Mostyn-Owen: "We are still in the process of reviewing our community engagement programme and we seek to work with all faiths and all communities across the capital."

The Mayor is perhaps a better ex-husband than office manager.

No migrants unless they're tyrants

Britain's prison system will soon be hosting a celebrity convict. Charles Taylor, former warlord of Liberia who inflicted a decade of misery on Sierra Leone, is to be sentenced this morning by the international court in The Hague after being convicted of war crimes. The prosecution has asked for an 80-year prison sentence. The defence has asked that he shouldn't be made to end his days in a British prison.

There is an irony in the timing, because it comes in the same week that the pressure group Migration Watch has complained about African immigrants who come to the UK and never leave. "The real problem with immigration is that non-EU migrants are failing to return home," it said.

Yesterday, the white-collar union Prospect protested because two distinguished Kenyan trade union leaders have been refused entry to the UK to address its conference because the immigration service refused to believe they were not coming here to stay.

And meanwhile there is Charles Taylor desperately pleading for the right not to set foot in the UK. His lawyers point out that the Serbian war criminal, Radislav Krstic, was almost killed when fellow prisoners attacked him with knives in Wakefield prison two years ago. All to no avail, because the UK Government has volunteered to incarcerate him and no other country wants to have him.

O Canada! Lord Black wants to stay

Another person who is not keen to be here is Conrad Black, the former owner of the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator, who was released from a Miami prison complex earlier this month and is now enjoying the quiet of his luxury Toronto home with his wife Barbara Amiel. He renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to become a British citizen so that he could enter the House of Lords, as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Canada does not normally tolerate the presence of foreign citizens with criminal records, but has granted Lord Black a one-year temporary residency permit. He has applied to be a Canadian citizen once more.

Bingle relieved to play happy families

Peter Bingle, who left his job as chairman of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs earlier this month, has been keeping in touch with friends and contacts by email. The lobbying firm he used to run has been through a sticky patch since it was the target of an undercover investigation in this newspaper. Lord Bell is organising a management buy-out.

To judge by his emails, Bingle is happy to be out of it: "The children have discovered that they have a father and I am now doing important things like the school run and feeding the swans... I just hope that week three will be as exciting and rewarding as the first two."

On the other hand, he needs to build up a new business. As a former Tory councillor he could offer his services to the party, but only if they have forgiven him for what he wrote during the last general election. He called it, "the most inept Tory campaign in living memory".

Suggested Topics
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

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice