It's his party, and he'll ruffle a few feathers if he wants to

The bash, which is to be held at the Banqueting Hall on Whitehall on 28 November, is to be attended by a selection of Conservative grandees, with the rest of the tickets going to party members on a first-come, first-served basis.

In part a good way for Howard to say goodbye to his closest supporters, this has also been necessitated by the lack of sponsorship for the evening.

"It has been arranged by the party itself," says a spokesman. "There is indeed no corporate sponsor for the event, but tickets are selling well to members."

But even if the Tories' traditional sponsors have washed their hands of Michael Howard already, the outgoing leader is expected to ruffle a few feathers with his final speech.

"Michael's support for David Cameron over David Davis is not much of a secret," says a party source. "And it's not as though he is going to come out and say anything before all the votes have been counted. But we're expecting a fairly firm statement on the direction he wants the party to go."

Both leadership candidates have been invited to attend, but neither would commit to showing up when Pandora called yesterday.

* As the business partner of the magazine publisher Jefferson Hack, the photographer Rankin is the epitome of young, urban cool.

Not content with photography and his creative work on Hack's magazines, Rankin is currently directing his first full-length feature film, The Lives of the Saints. But it is a film with a difference: funding for the project, which has cost £1m, comes from a denim manufacturer called Meltin' Pot.

"The film was born out of a humble idea from the company's MD, Augusto Romano," says a spokesman. "The spring/summer 06 range of clothing from Meltin' Pot was introduced into the wardrobes of four key characters. The brand's entire marketing strategy will support the film, including an international print and billboard campaign and a European cinema ad, also directed by Rankin."

The film is set in London's Turkish community and, fittingly for a 90-minute advertisement, "is centred around human lust for greed and power."

* Francesca Annis has taken a swipe at the self-importance of Hollywood movie stars. The actress, who is currently starring in the West End whilst her husband, Ralph Fiennes, is filming in United States with stars such as Susan Sarandon, says:

"In England there is an acceptance that 'celebrities' aren't that different. They're just the same as everyone else. In America, I think they are seen as a different breed, a sort of untouchable people.

"I remember meeting Tom Hanks one time, and he was so concerned with the security of it. He said we couldn't meet in a theatre bar, but should go somewhere more private. Then we got there, and there were only two other people in the whole place. There was certainly no danger of getting mobbed at all!"

* Another embarrassing exposé of the relationship between our Prime Minister and his Chancellor is in the offing. And this one looks like it might have some authority.

Contrary to reports elsewhere, the playwright and theatre reviewer Toby Young is still working on his drama based on Tony Blair's relationship with Gordon Brown. But rather than a stage play, he intends to produce it as an animated television show.

Pandora spotted Young approaching Derek Draper, once a New Labour supremo and confidant of Peter Mandelson, at Peter York's book launch last week.

"I was wondering whether you'd be interested in taking the role of advisor on the project," Young asked. "I'm in talks with ITV1 about it now, and they seem keen."

Draper, too, seems keen.

* Here's a scary Hallowe'en metaphor from the Labour MP Harry Cohen, who fears that his esteemed colleague, the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, has spawned an alien.

At a recent Parliamentary Labour Party meeting to discuss plans for the NHS, Mr Cohen made a speech criticising planned health service reforms.

"It was a stormy meeting," he tells me. "And I warned that the creeping privitisation we are risking could be like something from the film Alien - something pretty unpleasant coming from the stomach of the NHS."

Hewitt responded, apparently, with a sickly smile.

"She doesn't look much like Sigourney Weaver [the film's star] to me," adds Cohen.

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: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there