Pandora: New job for Carter (it's not writing his memoirs)

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The Independent Online

What with the former Labour Party general secretary, Peter Watt, lining his pockets at the expense of Gordon Brown (and with a little help from The Mail On Sunday's syndication department), it may prove something of a relief to hear that his predecessor has little intention of following suit.

Indeed, it appears that Matt Carter's plate is going to be rather too full to contemplate such escapades for the foreseeable future. We hear the one-time general secretary has just landed a plum new job at the helm of publicity juggernaught Burson-Marsteller, following the resignation of its long-standing chief executive officer Jonathan Jordan.

Back in 2003, Carter became Labour's youngest-ever general secretary at the age of 31, but he left in 2005 following the cash-for-honours scandal.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, however, he managed to remain relatively untarnished by the fiasco – earning himself the nickname "the Teflon Technocrat" among some within the party – and went on to join Bill and Hillary Clinton's former strategist Mark Penn at Penn Schoen & Berland.

"I am becoming CEO at Burson-Marsteller and will become a chairman at PSB," explains Carter.

"As for memoirs, well I think there are others doing that for me. I'm going to have enough going on as it is."

A bit too much caffeine, Mr Mayor?

After Boris Johnson's impressive hijacking of a Newsnight interview a few months ago ("Jeremy, you are seeking to intermediate between me and the public"; "Boris, if you don't want mediation, why don't you take the camera and tell the public what sort of chap David Cameron is?"), we hear a similar incident has occurred in a Hampstead coffee house. The London Mayor is said to have launched into an impromptu speech, listing his achievements since being in office, and apologising for Jubilee line disruption. Oratory with your latte, sir?

Peaches isn't a hooker, 'Daily Star' admits

Hold the front page: Peaches Geldof is not a prostitute. The unsurprising admission was extracted yesterday from the Daily Star, which was forced to pay undisclosed damages to the precocious socialite and television presenter, 20, following its charming front-page headline: "Peaches: Spend the night with me for £5k." As it turned out, the £5,000 did not in fact refer to any red-light sidelines pursued by Ms Geldof, but to the fees she could command for attending parties. Details, eh?

Bradshaw makes a dramatic exit

The Young Vic theatre is usually a bastion of egalitarianism, with downstairs seats left unreserved. At a performance last week, however, half a row was reserved for those "with special access needs". Curiously, it was taken by a party of able-bodied young things, including one Ben Bradshaw, the Culture Secretary. Says our mole: "Special egress needs more like: he left before the end." A spokesman explains: "As [Bradshaw] told the theatre in advance, he had to leave early to attend a vote in the House". Tsk.

M.I.A.'s music for customer service

Verizon has the dubious honour of having inspired a track on M.I.A.'s latest album. The imaginatively entitled I'm Down Like Your Internet Connection documents the singer's ordeal on the end of a three-hour customer service call with the US internet company. She has even, it appears, got some of the company's employees to sing on the chorus.

"I was on the phone and I thought, 'Maybe this needs to be part of my music'," she explains to Rolling Stone magazine. It's one way to get revenge.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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