Pandora: Neil Hamilton lends a hand

First it was Stuart Wheeler, now ... Neil Hamilton.

The disgraced former MP, appointed the Conservative Whip under Margaret Thatcher, could be seen out on the campaign trail with Charles Bennett, a former Army officer and the UK Independence Party's candidate for North Wiltshire. Hamilton has, as it turns out, defected to the eurosceptic party. "He has always been a eurosceptic. It was a no-brainer," explains a spokesman.

Since leaving Parliament in a fog of sleaze allegations in 1997, Hamilton has had no trouble occupying himself, appearing on of The Weakest Link, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Mastermind, and hosting a booze-fuelled chat show at the Edinburgh Festival. His wife Christine, meanwhile, has been sharing her electoral analysis on Twitter. "Cleggie seems to be wowing the nurses," she noted yesterday. "As his mother is Dutch, maybe we should call him Nick Clogg." Har, har.

French make a titanic election howler

Election coverage has assumed a rather more glamorous form in Le Monde. An article on the French newspaper's website has delighted readers with news that "James Cameron's Conservative Opposition obtained between 34 per cent and 36 per cent of support in a recent poll". As one respondent commented on the site: "David Cameron et non James Cameron! Erreur???" We'll resist the temptation to crack the "sinking like the Titanic" gag.

A copy of the Financial Times lands on Pandora's desk, folded to show an advert for the Rodman and Renshaw Annual Global Investment Conference. Healthcare! Metals! Mining! But be not deceived: this is no ordinary industry snooze. Three phrases catch our eye: cocktails, Sir John Major and Duran Duran. Our kind of do.

As the Great Volcano Crisis resides, guest lists refill. Only one chef included in this year's World's 50 Best Restaurants was absent from Monday night's prize-giving. The evening's victor, Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, was, however, missing one crucial supporter: Ali Sonko, his head dishwasher, who was refused a visa. "He's the go-to man." Redzepi complained. "I don't understand." To compensate, the chef, pictured, and his team all sported T-shirts emblazoned with Sonko's face. Touching!

Sussex sausages get Dave's vote

David Cameron was left holding the cold sausage during a visit to Leadenhall Market last week. A trader offered him a sample, only for him take a bite, turn round and find his aides had vanished before he could palm off the rest. Now we hear of the sausage's origin. "It was an EllesBelles sausage from The Sussex Yeoman pub in Brighton," writes our informant. "100 per cent meat and made by me, Ellie Ledden." Aha!

pandora@independent.co.uk

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