Could Galloway's party snub cause a Cable Street riot?

* Last year's "Battle of Bethnal Green" between George Galloway MP and Oona King was among the most brutal of recent election stand-offs.

The whiff of rotten eggs (and not just the ones King, pictured right, was pelted with as she visited a Jewish cemetery) still wafts across the East End. Galloway is outraged at a perceived snub in favour of his rival.

This week marks 70 years since East Londoners defeated Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists by preventing them from marching through Cable Street in Stepney. There will be a celebratory anti-fascist street festival on Sunday.

Galloway, the area's MP, has his moustache in a twist because the list of patrons for the festival is "packed full of Labour cronies" - and he's not on it.

King is a patron, as is minister Ruth Kelly, Labour peer Baroness Uddin and Tony Benn. Kelly's husband, Derek Gadd, sits on the organising committee.

Galloway's office wrote to organisers expressing his "dismay" at the "insult", claiming the committee had "sullied this extremely important event by introducing political prejudice".

Galloway's sidekick and spokesman Ron McKay says: "He knew nothing about it. They're quite deliberately trying to cut him out. What's Oona King got to do with it anymore?"

The organisers' secretary, Jil Cove, said it was "very sad" that Galloway was upset. "He received an invitation to come along if he wants. It is up to him. As we told his office, we're not a public body and don't have to explain our decisions."

* Could the 1980s pop-picker Mike Read turn around the Conservatives' fortunes in their so far laughable search for a familiar candidate to challenge Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London?

Read was a surprise guest at the Tories' conference dinner on Monday evening, where he entertained guests with a 10-minute political rap.

Afterwards, he was approached by several MPs eager for him to submit his name for the vacant candidacy.

"There was a gathering swell throughout the evening," he tells me, declining to perform the rap. "I think because I've spent a while working in the media and am a recognisable figure, they thought I might be suitable.

"I didn't agree to anything, though, I just said I'd meet them soon and have a chat about it. I thought it would be churlish not to."

No "slipped discs" gags.

* More news on the blossoming companionship between one of our most revered filmmakers, Anthony Minghella, and Gordon Brown.

Minghella will interview the Chancellor about his book Moving Britain Forward at the Cheltenham Literary Festival on Saturday, and again on Sunday in Edinburgh. Minghella worked with Brown last year, directing a sugary short film featuring him and Blair as bestest buddies ahead of the general election.

Brown won admiring glances from the film industry after promising it generous tax cuts last year. Lord Attenborough told me, then, that he was "one of Britain's finest chancellors".

Pandora's suggestion box is now open for roles Brown might play, should he be pipped to No 10. Robert the Bruce watching the spider?

* Pandora bumped into Phil Collins - the Turner Prize nominee, not the waxen-skulled musician - at Tate Britain on Tuesday night, for the gin-drinking bash celebrating the start of the four competitors' esoteric shows.

Artworld luminaries considered Collins' exhibit - the sound-proofed, functioning office of a television production company, set up inside the Tate - to have a decent chance of scooping the £25,000 prize in December.

Where did he find his inspiration, I asked the artist? "I, er [looks over my shoulder]... yeah... I've never worked in an office so it's an interesting idea as a setting... [looks about]. I've never worked... I have a studio in Glasgow, been there since February. [Waves.]

"Anyway, great talking to you."

Many thanks!

* Indulge in a brief sigh of relief/pang of disappointment - because the aforementioned kidnap of the writer and convicted perjurer is a stage stunt.

There's No Place Like A Home, touring British theatres, outlines the dire straits of a group of OAPs trying to save their retirement home (David Cameron take note). In an attempt to raise the necessary wonga, they nab Lord Archer and demand a £380,000 ransom from his wife Mary.

Archer, renowned for his voice recordings, has been a good sport and read the lines demanding the ransom, so they can be replayed every night.

Apparently, I mustn't disclose whether or not the crusties chain him to a radiator and torture him with white noise and reruns of Crossroads - or, indeed, whether Lady Archer coughs up. Sorry!

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • 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 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...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...