Pandora: Harman can't even organise a party in a nightclub

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The Independent Online

For all the questions being raised over dodgy donations, the party is not quite over yet for Harriet Harman. The same, however, cannot be said of the beleaguered deputy Labour leader's forthcoming Christmas shindig.

On Wednesday evening, around 200 guests were invited to attend an evening hosted by Harman promising champagne, canaps and comedy at Sound nightclub, an edgy venue in London's Leicester Square.

The bash, for which guests were charged 30 a ticket, was being billed as the last chance to raise funds towards the cost of Harman's successful campaign to become Labour's deputy leader.

But in light of the current controversy surrounding the 5,000 contribution to the campaign from David Abrahams, which was listed in the name of his secretary Janet Kidd, the evening has now been called off.

"Yes it's definitely been cancelled," says Alex Rayner, a PR spokesman for the club. "We received a phone call from her office on Friday morning telling us it was no longer going ahead. It was a bit last minute, but certainly not a problem for us."

The news will no doubt come as some relief to some of Harman's colleagues on the Labour benches. Since MPs are currently going out of their way to distance themselves from Labour's current funding crisis, some were thought to be less than enthusiastic about clinking champagne flutes with one of the Cabinet ministers caught right in the thick of it.

Rod puts on a brave face after losing at the races

Rod Stewart, who is fiercely proud of his Scottish roots, was once described by Ronnie Wood as "tighter than two coats of paint".

He was certainly none too chuffed to find himself out of pocket during a trip to Newbury races over the weekend.

I spotted Stewart with his glamorous wife Penny at the Hennessy Gold Cup wincing as one of his bets, a horse called O'Maly, unseated its jockey halfway through the race.

"I've lost everything today, none of my tips have worked out for me," he told me. "It's Penny that loves the races, personally I much prefer the football."

True to his word, Stewart then tootled off to find a television showing his beloved Celtic play Hearts. His mood won't have improved much Hearts equalised with practically the last kick of the game.

Jagger opts for the noisy life

Sultry jewellery designer Jade Jagger has been lending her creative talents to an ambitious new housing project in the Cotswolds.

Jagger, along with fellow design gurus Philippe Starck and Sophie Conran, has been helping design The Lakes, a set of luxury homes which the developers claim will make the fashionable West Country area to London what the Hamptons are to New York. Jagger is thought to have already procured one for herself.

But there is one potential snag. One local reports that the plot falls in the vicinity of the flightpath towards the nearby airbase at RAF Fairford.

"The B52s buzz over there the whole time," I'm told. "Perhaps Jade might have to turn up some of that music she likes to party to in Ibiza."

A seat to Dai for

When Sir Dai Llewellyn stood in May's local elections under UKIP's angry banner, he found himself on the receiving end of a thrashing.

Still, the experience hasn't dampened the notorious Bouncing Baronet's political ambitions. He plans to stand again, this time for Parliament at the next general election.

"I'll be contesting Cardiff North, which was my uncle's seat," he tells me. "Like most people I was expecting an election this month so I've already filled in all the forms."

Llewellyn will be attempting to unseat Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan's wife Sally. Seeing as Llewellyn will also be campaigning to have the Welsh Assembly scrapped, I reckon we can safely predict that fireworks are ahead.

Jarvis's bid for Eurovision glory is just Pulp fiction

It appears Jarvis Cocker will not be the man after all to save Britain from its annual humiliation at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Earlier this year, the gangly popstar made a bizarre bid to pen the UK's entry in 2008. "The door is always open if they want to ask me," he said. "I've always wanted to do one."

Sadly, his interest appears to have waned. When Pandora recently tried to get Cocker to commit to his pledge, I was practically laughed off the telephone line. Chortled a spokesman: "Sorry, but I wouldn't hold your breath on that one."

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