Pandora: Fawkes gets explosive Commons reception

Many a wounded politician would be quick to agree that crossing swords with formidable Westminster blogger Guido Fawkes is a traditionally hazardous business.

That, however, didn't stop veteran Labour backbencher Peter Kilfoyle from throwing down the gauntlet during an entertaining duel in a parliamentary boozer this week.

The Liverpool Walton MP took exception when he was informed that Paul Staines, the man behind the high-profile website, was in the Commons' Strangers Bar on Monday night. Staines, whose notable scalps have included John Prescott and Gordon Brown's ex-henchman, Damian "Smeargate" McBride, was drinking with two of Kilfoyle's Labour colleagues when the furore erupted. "I was with the MPs Tom Harris and Greg Pope and I was getting a round in," Staines tells me. "Suddenly he's ranting at the barmaid 'It's Guido Fawkes! Get him out!' I didn't want to embarrass the Labour MPs. I was with, but I told him I was entitled to be there. It was all a bit childish."

Kilfoyle has come in for flak from Staines of late after the latter reported a survey commissioned by the politician was carried out by his daughter's firm. The MP has dismissed the criticism. He now says: "If I'd had the energy I'd have chucked him out myself.

"I don't think people like him should come into this place, listening in on conversations and writing rubbish."

Dame Judi is a top bird

Dame Judi Dench hardly requires the likes of me to talk up her talents, but I still feel special mention must briefly go to one surprise cameo in the offing. The actress proudly reveals she will have more than one role in the forthcoming Christmas editions of the BBC drama Cranford. "Watch out for the scenes in Cranford featuring a parrot," she declares. "When you hear him squawking and making those clicking noises in his throat, it's me. I happened to be in the editing suite and I said, 'I'm sure I can do it, I'll be a lot cheaper'."

Time for Ringo to enjoy his freedom

Less than two years after he unwittingly became embroiled in hostilities with his native city of Liverpool, a potentially controversial peace offering is making its way across the Atlantic to Ringo Starr.

Relations have been fraught ever since the former Beatle made an ill-fated quip that he missed "nothing" about his birthplace. Now, fresh moves are afoot to persuade the LA-based drummer to travel back to Merseyside and finally accept his Freedom of the City scroll, which has been gathering dust these past two decades.

The plan is backed by West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper, who was behind the idea to honour the band in the 1980s.

Judging by recent events, my hunch is he might just prefer to have it sent over in the post.

Diary dates unclear for MPs

As Labour MPs brace themselves for the inevitably challenging months ahead, Pandora hears they have just received the following festive offering from party chiefs. Along with an emailed invitation for Christmas drinks with Gordon Brown – (let the good times roll) – politicians have also been informed that "Labour 2010 diaries" are now on sale for the bargain price of £7.50 at the party's parliamentary office. Under the circumstances, it's fair to assume many will keep the second part of next year tentatively blank.

Bond Girl Eva's no fan of the jungle

Having been unswerving in my admiration for Eva Green ever since her memorable turn as a Bond Girl, I'm perturbed to learn that auditions are still proving a trial. The Casino Royale star has been bemoaning the indignities she has to suffer courtesy of casting directors. "There's always something wrong," she complains. "They're brutal, it's a jungle. It's as if you're a facade, like a model who can't act." Before anyone becomes overly concerned for the poor lass's career, it's also fair to point out she has four new films in the pipeline.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • 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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own