Pandora: A pitch for big tent politics from Mrs B

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The Independent Online

Thermos? Check. Gaslight? Check. Election leaflets? Erm, check.

The spirited wife of the Commons Speaker, Sally Bercow, is threatening to park a tent on the inhospitable flagstones of Parliament Square during her campaign for election to Westminster City Council.

It's all thanks to Commons Authority rules that forbid her from campaigning in the Speaker's residence on the grounds that, during a general election, the Commons is not to be used for political activity.

Bercow is running on behalf of the Labour party and, while her husband, the Conservative MP for Buckingham, will return to his constituency for the campaign, she had planned to stay in Westminster with her children.

On being told that she could no longer do so, a peeved Mrs B tweeted, "what about notice guys?" before settling on her alternative: "Kids can stay here. With childminder. I will move into Parliament Sq tent. Mr B will be in Buckingham anyway. I am now looking at tents on Argos website. (Love Argos btw.)"

Argos declined to offer Mrs B a complimentary tent when we suggested it.

They're called Bonds... Market Bonds

Roger Moore holds forth on the subject of personal wealth in this month's Which? Money magazine. It's something he should know plenty about: the former 007 actor has accumulated a fortune estimated at £50m. But where is it invested? "In the bond market," says Moore. Naturally.

Ronson's version on 6 Music

The campaign to prevent the BBC from axing its much-loved radio station 6 Music appears to be gathering support on both sides of the Atlantic.

Joining the raft of Brits campaigning for its survival is New York super-producer Mark Ronson. "It's amazing," he told us at Monday's premiere of Banksy's Exit Through The Gift Shop. "I don't even live here, but I've done shows on it and it will be a terrible thing if it closes down. I'll definitely be joining the petition to keep it going." Mark Thompson, you've been warned.

Doughnuts: facts or Fabrica(n)tion?

"I didn't mean to mislead the House," says Michael Fabricant, "though I may now be forced to make a Personal Statement of Apology – it will put all those expenses apologies in the shade." Whatever could he be talking about? Ah yes: the size of his doughnut. Last week the Tory MP solicited the help of a Commons Tea Room doughnut to illustrate his argument about the calorific content of alcohol. "A normal supermarket doughnut is similar-ish in calorific value, but it was ginormous."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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