Pandora: Kilfoyle: I gave Geoff his 'Buff Hoon' nickname

For years it has tormented him and delighted opponents. With Geoff Hoon back in the spotlight, so his unflattering nickname, "Buff Hoon", has once again sprung to the fore. And now, it appears the origin of the former cabinet minister's moniker has been found.

The blame, it seems, lies squarely at the door of Peter Kilfoyle, the mischievous Liverpudlian former armed forces minister. Kilfoyle, not known for his reticence, worked briefly under Hoon at the MoD before resigning his post on the principle that the Labour Party had forgotten its heartlands.

Rumours that he – and not, in fact, a quick-witted member of the opposition – had been behind the nickname emerged earlier this week after Hoon, pictured, appeared before the Chilcot enquiry where he blamed Gordon Brown for army funding shortages.

Kilfoyle tells us that the quip was indeed him, commenting: "Liverpool wit is spontaneous – and cruelly insulting."

Naturally, Pandora was dying to know what Hoon would make of the revelation though, curiously, no one responded to our messages.

With friends like these, eh?

There's a mouse in Bercow's house

Oh, dear. It appears the efforts of John Bercow to "open up" the Speaker's House may have gone a little too far. Bercow's Labour activist wife, Sally, has spent much of the past 48 hours complaining of a mouse infestation in their official Palace of Westminster residence. Now the couple have been inundated with letters of advice from concerned mouse-o-philes. "Why did this mouse-lover enclose a photo of himself on the beach?" exclaims Sally. Time to call pest control?

Walters defends Mo's white lie

News that Mo Mowlam chose to hide her terminal cancer from Tony Blair ahead of being appointed to his 1997 cabinet has provoked debate across the board as to whether or not she did the right thing.

Still, one person whose opinions aren't wavering is Julie Walters, who plays the plucky politician in Mo, the film that revealed the fact.

"She was right not to be honest with him," she told Pandora at a Bafta screening of the drama on Tuesday night. "Politics was what fuelled her. She knew what an amazing talent she had and what she could do and she was right. History has shown her to be right."

Olympic councillor will give bobsleigh a miss

A Conservative Westminster councillor Tim Owen is currently feeling the heat (or should that be the chill?) after accepting a £3,300 all-expenses-paid-by-the-taxpayer fact-finding trip to Canada's Rocky Mountains to watch the forthcoming Winter Olympics. All other Olympic boroughs declined the offer. Still, Owen is staunch in his defence of the jolly: "I am not flying business class and I will not be watching the bobsleigh," he insisted yesterday. Which, naturally, changes everything.

Time to clear the diary, Alan?

As BBC bean-counters tot up what they'll save from Jonathan Ross's departure, thoughts turn to the pressing question of whom to recruit to fill the presenter's (Vivienne Westwood) shoes. Leading the odds is that other beeb funnyman Graham Norton, though Pandora rather favours the curve-ball that is Alan Carr. So does one high-profile supporter. Namely, himself. "I should go for the job!" he exclaimed at Whisky Mist's launch of their Kelly Hoppen room. "All I need to do now is kill Graham Norton and I'm set." Nothing to it.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before