It gets dirtier: Huhne's private interests targeted

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The Independent Online

Last week, newspapers were tipped off about "nine pads" Huhne's extensive property portfolio. Now they're being briefed about the former City boy's extensive private investments.

An unsigned document entitled "Chris Huhne's Hypocritical Personal Share Portfolio" was circulated at recent hustings, detailing various supposedly "unethical" firms in which he has placed his millions.

"Chris Huhne is campaigning for the Lib Dem leadership on a green, carbon neutral platform, and further advocates increasing tax for the wealthy, which would include himself," it reads.

"However, his registrable shareholdings include, or have included, mining companies, oil companies, and tax shelters."

The document lists three mining firms, one arms company, and seven tax avoidance schemes to which Huhne has subscribed. It also alleges the MP deleted a page from his internet site listing the interests.

Huhne's camp last night stressed he's now disposed of holdings in all but one of the "unethical" firms, a mining outfit called Centamin Egypt.

Splendidly, they are now calling for a formal investigation into the affair. "We've put in a complaint to David Allworthy, the returning officer for the campaign, as this leaflet had no imprint, which violates election rules," says his spokesman.

"It's a pity Chris's detractors won't come into the open."

* Am I alone in detecting a whiff of fish about reports that Kate Moss intends to crack Hollywood?

Last week, it was reported that Croydon's finest export is to take a minor role in Ang Lee's next film.

Apparently, this will require her to play one of Dusty Springfield's lesbian lovers, in a biographical flick about the singer.

That would provide headline writers with a field day, since it would mean La Moss canoodling with leading lady Charlize Theron.

Sadly, Lee won't yet comment on the project, while sources close to Moss say rumours of her involvement are "baloney".

"The point about Kate Moss is that she never speaks on camera, in order to hide her 'sarf' London accent," I'm told.

"She did say about three words on a Virgin ad before Christmas, but that took several takes to get right.

"I don't think Ang Lee would have the patience."

* One of Kate Hoey's many fierce critics has been the Daily Mirror's raffish political editor, Kevin Maguire.

Strange, then, to see the off-message Labour MP applauded in Maguire's most recent column.

"Straight, classy Kate proved she's got style," he wrote. "I'd raise a stirrup cup, if I had one."

The Countryside Alliance, of which Hoey is President, has "flagged" these warm words to supporters.

But they should think twice before heralding a coup: Maguire isn't exactly known as Mr Consistent.

He recently started "bigging-up" Geoff Hoon, having previously informed readers that he's a "second rater," who is "as two-faced as Anne Robinson and as pious as the Panzer Pope."

* When Rebekah Wade breaks bread with David Blunkett, you never know what might happen.

Not long ago, the fetching Sun editor knocked seven shades out of her husband, Ross Kemp, following a night on the tiles with the former home secretary.

Now Fleet Street is gossiping about a convivial lunch the duo recently shared with her political guru Trevor Kavanagh at the RAC Club on Pall Mall.

"I was also eating at the Great Gallery there," reports one prominent journalist. "During lunch, Rebekah got up to go to the toilet, which prompted the others to start whispering together.

"So no one saw when Blunkett's guide dog, Sadie, popped-up and ate Wade's Yorkshire Pudding from her plate."

Unconfirmed reports suggest Wade later tucked back into her meal with gusto.

However, Kavanagh insists the tale is apocryphal. "The story is absolutely correct," he says, "except for the fact that Rebekah Wade did not, to my recollection, leave the table during the meal."

Anyway, he adds: "Sadie would never behave like that."

* Not a lot of people know that Lawrence Dallaglio's middle name is Nero.

It is, therefore, highly appropriate that England's former rugby skipper is at last to be immortalised in bronze.

The artist responsible is the modish sculptor Paul Vanstone, whose subjects range from Lord Carrington to Jenny Agutter.

Making the six-foot statue - to be unveiled at Thompson's gallery in Marylebone in April - sounds like a truly Herculean task.

"I've basically had to go round to Lawrence's house and wrap him up in bandages to make the cast," Vanstone explains.

"It will be almost life-size, with Lawrence bending down as if going in for a scrum. I had to smear him in Vaseline to make sure the plaster didn't hurt."

Poor Lamb!

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