Pandora: Conway cheers on civil ceremony reform

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The Independent Online

Should Gordon Brown find himself feeling a little short of friends, he could do worse that call up Sloane Square's uber-socialite, Henry Conway.

We hear the fashion designer son of the Tory MP Derek has a newfound admiration for the PM in the wake of his proposal to open up the Houses of Parliament to civil partnership ceremonies.

"They should of course be allowed in the Houses of Parliament," exclaims Conway. "As the son of a parliamentarian I am granted permission to marry a woman in the Palace of Westminster, so to be allowed to celebrate a gay union in the building which made it possible is only fair and right. Several MPs get married in the Crypt Chapel, as do their children – indeed my brother and sister were both christened in the chapel there."

Of course, should Conway – who recently opened a high-fashion knitwear boutique – decide to make use of the privilege he'd have to get a wriggle on; following last year's scandal over his expense claims, Conway Snr announced he will stand down at the general election.

"I personally won't be getting married there any time soon – as yet no engagement ring, nor a wish for a media circus!"

MP gives new series a pounding

"Political satire is too negative and unconstructive," comes the damning verdict. "I cannot think of a single occasion when I've heard anybody losing it like the ludicrously overdrawn character in The Thick of It." Goodness. Has Alastair "too boring to be funny" Campbell revived his role as reviewer? Er no, actually. This time it is the equally humourless Stephen Pound MP – writing in the Radio Times – who's pouring scorn on the forthcoming series of Armando Iannucci's television masterpiece. A touch close to the bone, perhaps?

Johnson casts his eye over Hollywood

Boris Johnson was given an injection of celluloid vigour by Christian Brassington, who (with the help of a floppy blond wig straight out of the props department) was cast as the mop-topped Mayor in More4's hammy docudrama When Boris Met Dave.

But given the choice, would Bozza opt for an alternative portrayal?

"It's this guy Brad Pitt isn't it, who is the obvious contender?," a modest Johnson told reporters at the London Film Festival premiere of Bright Star.

Gosh. We hear Mr Jolie can be rather difficult to get hold of.

"Well if he's not available then Clooney," concedes Johnson. That'll do.

I'll fly for you ( a Ford sedan)

Oh, how the mighty fall. Where once the words Spandau Ballet would conjure up yuppie-filled images of speeding Alfa Romeos and Maseratis, now it falls to sturdy staple the Ford S-MAX to ferry the recently reconciled crooners from one appointment to the next. A well-timed release advertising that very fact find its way into Pandora's in-box, complete with striking photo of the band's well-upholstered frontman Tony Hadley alongside the family-sized sedan (very comfy we're sure). Rock'n'Roll.

Styler faces some crude delays

Pandora hopes Trudie Styler hasn't bitten off more than she can chew. The private-jet loving environmentalist complains that there is little hope of resolution in the lawsuit against oil-company Chevron – which forms the subject of her documentary Crude. "It's really frustrating for me and everyone involved," she tells us. "It's already been 14 years and it looks like it could continue for the rest of my life. I believe they will go to the High Court to delay the final decision further. They just fight with wealth and time."