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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea