Pandora: Labour maverick fires a parting shot

The Labour MP Ann Cryer's decision to stand down at the next general election has robbed the House of one its last true characters.

So it is somewhat apt that Cryer, an outspoken critic of forced marriages, should take a parting shot at some of her colleagues who, she says, are not doing enough to tackle the problem.

"There still is a nervousness to talk about this, especially those MPs in constituencies affected by these issues," she says.

"They should be fighting on the front line, but they are the ones keeping quiet on the issue because they don't want to lose votes.

"Some of the Muslim leaders in my area are doing their communities a disservice and trying to keep them in the backwoods. They don't seem to have any understanding about the importance of having integration and cohesion, or to promote women to leadership roles in the community.

Cryer, whose late husband Bob was also a Labour MP, says her decision to stand down was a particularly emotional one.

"When I told my party, I broke down and cried because I really didn't want to go," she adds. "But I know how I feel and how tired I get and couldn't cope with another general election campaign."

I'm only dancing, says Lisa

Natasha Kaplinsky and Kate Garraway have both (wrongly) been accused in the past of engaging in more than just the ch-cha-cha with their respective dance partners on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

The most notable eye candy for the next series, the What Not To Wear presenter Lisa Snowdon, insists there'll be no such monkey business when she graces the show this autumn.

"I'll be far too exhausted to look for a boyfriend," she told Pandora recently. "I'll just be concentrating on the moves – the dancing I mean."

Leggy Snowdon is due to partner snake-hipped kiwi, Brendan Cole. I do hope his girlfriend, the British model Zoe Hobbs, has thick skin.

Thanks for nothing

The Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud caused ripples in the architectural world a few weeks ago, when it was revealed that his design firm had dumped its architects in favour of a company willing to work evenings and weekends for free.

It wasn't great timing. Next month, he's due to present the Stirling Prize, the prestigious gong awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Although McCloud insists that he behaved honourably in a time of economic difficulty, he's dreading it.

"I'm only going to have to stand in front of 500 architects and say: 'Hello I'm the guy who apparently doesn't pay architects'," he says.

World champions

At long last, our footballers have won something. So congratulations to Stonewall Lions FC, the English side who won the gay football world championships over the weekend.

They thumped Safgay Argentina 5-0 in Saturday's fina, held at Leyton Orient's ground in east London.

It's the third time the Lions have been crowned world champs, after previously winning the competition in 2002 and 2006.

Smiley's teatowel

As our diplomatic relations with Russia once again turn glacial, the Victoria and Albert Museum is preparing to launch an exhibition on design during the Cold War.

The gift shop alone will certainly be worth a peep. Alongside exhibits which include an Apollo mission space suit, the V&A is planning to flog "a Cold War inspired range for both the home and wardrobe."


Cissé puts huntsmen off the scent

The return of Djibril Cissé – the French footballer who can also legitimately boast the title of Lord of the Manor – has been met with ambivalence by some of his neighbours.

The former Liverpool striker, who recently returned to England to sign for Sunderland, upset his local hunt when he moved to his stately pile in Frodsham, Cheshire, in 2004, by refusing to allow them to hunt on his land.

Although he moved back to France two years ago, the house was never sold and the ban has remained in place.

"I shouldn't imagine we'll have much more to do with him, to be honest," says one huntsman.

"I've heard he still owns the property, but I doubt he'll come back here too often – he used to be involved with a local girl, and he's not any more."

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

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

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
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