Pandora: Leadership election takes a nasty turn for the Green Party

It's not just Gordon Brown who's having to deal with backbiting within his party. A major row is currently brewing which is threatening to split the Green Party in two.

For the first time in their history, the Greens are about to launch a leadership contest involving two candidates, the MEP Caroline Lucas and the actor Ashley Gunstock, best known for his role as PC Frank in the long-running ITV show The Bill.

In the lead-up to the contest, the party's operational wing, the Standing Orders Committee, took the unusual decision to publish the contact details of 7,000 members to help candidates lobby for votes.

The move has caused uproar in the party, which prides itself on its defence of civil liberties. More than 100 party members have signed an angry letter of protest, questioning the legality of the decision under the Data Protection Act.

Says one senior member: "This is a serious privacy and civil liberties issue. Once a few candidates have got the details, they could end up anywhere. Anyone could get their hands on them."

The decision has also divided the leadership candidates, with Gunstock firmly against the move.

"I don't like the idea and I certainly won't use the information," he said yesterday. "Hounding people into voting isn't the way forward."

Lucas and her supporters, however, are looking at it as a great opportunity for canvassing.

A spokesman says she's looking forward to making the most of the information to help with her campaign.

"They will try to reach as many candidates as possible," I'm told. "However she campaigns, that will be her aim."

Morrissey's Middle Eastern manoeuvre

Pandemonium in Tehran this week with news that the singer Chris de Burgh will be the first Western pop act to perform in Iran for 20 years.

But what of the plans of that other 80s crooner, Morrissey, to go on tour in the Axis of Evil?

A spokesman for the former Smiths frontman claimed in February that they were in negotiations with the Ayatollahs for a tour some time this year.

I'm told the plans are currently unconfirmed, so it looks as though De Burgh has beaten him to it.

If it does happen, Mozza might need to change his passport. He's currently playing in Israel, and according to my diplomatic expert, an Israeli stamp is likely to get you put on the first plane out of Tehran.

'X-Files' stars shun mortals

The committed anglophile Gillian Anderson is becoming suitably regal these days.

The flame-haired actress was in Leicester Square on Wednesday evening for the premiere of her new X-Files film, but haughtily chose not to speak to the waiting throng of press.

Her co-star David Duchovny wasn't too chatty either. Asked by one young hack whether he got asked about aliens much, he grunted: "Only by you kind of people."

In the US, the film is lagging behind The Dark Knight and Mamma Mia! Explains the hostility.

Barker joins the jet-set

David Cameron is currently enjoying a (relatively) low-key summer holiday, relaxing with his family in the Cornish town of Padstow.

His environmental spokesman Greg Barker isn't quite so modest. Earlier this week, a mole spotted Barker at The Hamptons, the Long Island playground for East Coast society's mega rich.

Barker, a former employee of Roman Abramovich's oil company Sibneft, was seen lounging at the ultra snooty Maidstone Club. Ain't life grand, as they don't say in Labour circles much these days.

Cracknell returns

The Crack is back. Just weeks after the former Sunday Times political editor David Cracknell quit as chairman of the lobbying firm FD-LLM, after just five months into the job, he's decided to launch his own venture, Big Tent Communications.

In the past, whenever Cracknell has taken up a new post, gossip columnists always bring up the old anecdote concerning his last day working on The Sunday Telegraph. But there'll be no mentioning here of that time he tried to hack into his colleague's computer and swipe his contacts.

Annabel goes from Ultravox to ultra-loud

After being married to the Ultravox keyboardist Midge Ure for five years, you might think that the former model-turned novelist Annabel Giles would have developed a fairly tolerant ear for questionable music.

Apparently not. These days, the former Mrs U has her children's music to contend with rather than her ex's.

"As I'm getting older, I'm becoming stereotypically intolerant of noise," she laments. "Especially my 10-year-old son's new-found love of rap, which seems to me to be all about men in vests shouting needlessly into microphones.

"He insists on turning the volume right up and feels the need to shout along, despite being unaware of the exact words or (thankfully) what they mean."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?