Pandora: Howard and Field find common ground

Following in the footsteps of Tony Blair, two rather different House of Commons veterans are, we hear, to enter into the interfaith arena.

The former Conservative leader, Michael Howard, and Labour backbencher Frank Field, both as renowned for their strident political views as for their religious sentiments, have recently been awarded a pair of much-coveted spots on the Council of Christians and Jews.

The appointments represent a considerable achievement for both, since the CCJ is renowned for its stringent selection techniques and criteria. Any would-be trustees have to be recommended to the council by current board members, and then interviewed, before being considered over a several-month assessment period.

"We were already familiar with them to an extent as public figures" explains the council's chief executive David Gifford. "Michael had done some work at the grass roots and Frank has always had high moral values and is a member of the Church of England."

In joining, Howard and Field are following in the footsteps of the late Commons Speaker Lord Weatherill, who was awarded the Inter-Faith Medal for his service to the Council.

Monty's weather report dries up

Whoops. Listeners to the Today programme would have done well to disregard Sarah Montague's weather report yesterday. It later turned out to be fiction. The enterprising presenter was forced to improvise her report after losing her notes. She promised a "mixed picture across the country," before her co-host James Naughtie interjected to introduce the next section of the programme. Never mind, Sarah. Odds are it was more accurate than the Meteorological Office's promise of a barbecue summer.

Smith gets some parental advice

Quick! Someone buy Zadie Smith a parenting book.

Pandora spotted the heavily pregnant author grilling fellow party guests for advice ahead of the birth of her first child.

Father-of-three Harry Enfield was only too happy to oblige: "Go out in the evening. Don't lose your social life because then you'll become a bore," he offered, mischievously. "And when they wake up in the middle of the night, turn to your partner and say, 'Darling it is your turn.' If you can bamboozle them the way I did then you are sorted." No doubt her husband Nick Laird is much obliged.

Lembit shoots some stars

Another bit of useful campaigning from the Lib Dem ladies' man, Lembit Opik. He has begun the parliamentary term by tabling an Early Day Motion in the Commons warning that the Earth is likely to be hit by an asteroid.

Such oddities are standard practice from the MP for Montgomeryshire. Previous EDMs have included one to legalise the Segway (a pogo-like two-wheeled electric contraption) for road use and lamenting his delayed train. Thus far, his latest effort has attracted – ahem – zero supporting signatures.

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

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific