83-year-old activist ready for fresh battle with Blair

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The Independent Online

Of all the governmental errors Tony Blair may come to regret from his time in office, having 83-year-old Walter Wolfgang manhandled by heavies could end up pretty high on his list.

In just three weeks, the pair are set to come face-to-face for the first time when the Prime Minister meets with Labour's National Executive Committee at party conference in Manchester.

Wolfgang, who was voted on to the NEC at the beginning of last month, is planning to use the opportunity to launch fireworks. "The NEC and the Prime Minister are meeting on the Wednesday of conference week and my message to Blair will be that he should resign," he tells me.

"Of course, there is no guarantee I'll get to say what I want as there will be a strict agenda for the meeting, as you can expect.

"I might be able to propose an item for the agenda but, if not, I might just have a go at Tony Blair anyway."

If successful, it would represent a fitting revenge for the former anti-nuclear activist.

Wolfgang was chucked out of the 2005 conference in Brighton and arrested under the Terrorism Act after heckling Jack Straw during his speech on Iraq.

"Blair resigning now would be in the best interests of the Labour Party and the country," he adds.

Blackpool lights go out on comic Kay

Despite his reputation as one of our most popular entertainers, Peter Kay recently faced the of being upstaged by the perma-tanned TV presenter Dale Winton.

Last Friday, Kay was due to turn on the Blackpool illuminations in front of a live audience of thousands. But at the last minute, organisers informed Kay he would be making only a guest appearance and that the task of flicking the switch had been awarded to Winton.

"I couldn't believe it - double-booked with bloody Dale Winton. I was devastated," Kay told audiences at the ceremony. "I'm missing a Taggart marathon and a 40th birthday Indian meal in Bolton for this."

It was reported that Winton was given the job as he works for BBC2, which was covering the event live, whereas Kay is not a BBC star.

"It was always going to be Dale Winton to do the switch-on," insists a spokesman for the event.

All bets off for Clermont

The recent sale of Mayfair's Clermont Club to a Malaysian billionaire has proved a disappointing blow for Zac and Ben Goldsmith.

The gambling-mad brothers launched their own bid to buy the exclusive casino, which has played host to some of London's foremost high-rollers in its time, including Lord Lucan and the Goldsmiths' late father Sir Jimmy.

Had the pair, right, pulled off the coup, it would have made the building which houses the casino quite a family affair. The basement is occupied by Annabel's nightclub, which is named after their mother and run by their half-brother Robin Birley.

As it was, the Goldsmiths' bid fell just short of the £31m for which it was eventually shown. Says Ben: "All true. We were pretty close!"

Ad break?

David Cameron has made a concerted effort to sever links with old Tory dinosaurs. But is Lord Saatchi's long-running marketing partnership with the party next for the chop?

According to this week's Campaign magazine, Conservatives are in discussion over its creative account with an ad agency called Karmarama.

The company's most high-profile campaign to date has been its "make tea not war" slogan for the Stop the War coalition, but it is now thought to be working on issues to do with social causes for the Tories.

"We are in the still in the very early stages of talks with a number of agencies, including Karmarama," says a Tory spokesman.

Howard turns tables on Hislop

After all those years of unbridled mockery at the hands of Private Eye, Michael Howard will finally have the chance to get his own back. The former Tory leader has been booked in next month to interview the Eye's waspish editor Ian Hislop.

The pair are taking part in Cancer Research UK's "turn the tables" lunch at the Savoy, London, in front of TV crews, sketch writers and several hundred paying guests. Also featuring at the event will be BBC political editor Nick Robinson and Labour maverick Bob Marshall-Andrews. To jollify proceedings, Howard has asked Pandora readers to supply him with one killer question with which to cause Hislop, right, maximum embarrassment.

Suggestions to the above e-mail address, and try to keep it relatively clean.