Pandora: No second round for me, says Prezza Jnr

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Could the starting bell really be sounding for David Prescott's return to the political frontline? Those around him insist not.

Earlier this week, rumours began to circulate that Prescott Jnr was being lined up to contest the relatively safe seat of Greenwich and Woolwich, replacing Labour veteran Nick Raynsford.

The publicist son of John last bowed out when he failed to secure the nomination as Labour's candidate for his father's old Hull East constituency.

At the time, he claimed to have been "stit-ched up" by a smear campaign, returning to his post at the Labour-loving PR company Geronimo Communications. Since then, he has founded a campaign consultancy, Game Changer, with a fellow New Labourite Alex Hilton.

But despite the reports, Raynsford, 64, is adamant he wants to continue in the constituency he has represented for the past 17 years. "There is absolutely no doubt that he will be standing," insists his spokesman.

"Any idea of retirement is unfounded." And Prescott, currently out and about at the Copenhagen summit, claims to be content in his new role as father (his daughter Ava Grace was born in May).

"It's a load of rubbish!" he exclaims.

Jingle bells, behave yourselves...

A coded message now, from Nick Brown, to any remaining rebels lurking in Labour's ranks. The Government's Chief Whip has despatched his annual truckload of Christmas cards. On the front is a picture of two heavily made-up chaps sporting red and blue wigs, accompanied by the slogan: "I want to be Prime Minister." Inside is the punchline:

"Of course you do ... Hoping Santa makes even the wildest dreams come true, but only if you've been REALLY good in 2009." David Miliband, you've been warned.

BA strikes leave Sir Terry grounded

Uh-oh. Looks like British Airways could be in real trouble. Not content with exasperating thousands of travellers over the festive season, the strike-threatened company has incurred the wrath of the nation's best-loved voice. "I'm supposed to be going to France soon," complained a disgruntled Terry Wogan at The Oldie's Literary lunch yesterday. "But who knows if I can go now?" The avuncular presenter is soon to depart from the breakfast airwaves, handing his enormously popular Radio 2 show over to Chris Evans.

"I love writing so maybe when I'm not having to get up at five in the morning I'll do a bit more of that," he reflected. "I'd love to write a novel." Publishers, take note.

Tory Soames gets himself into a jam

Further pootling problems for Nicholas Soames. This time, it was the Tory MP's Audi causing the trouble.

Soames, we are told, left the vehicle parked outside a town hall in his Mid-Sussex constituency causing a jam of gargantuan proportions. "He couldn't be got out of a committee meeting. No one could quite work out what was taking so long," says our source. Soames has form with such motoring mishaps. Last year, he was banned from the roads for two months for driving an uninsured quad bike on a public highway.

Paltrow spreads seasonal goodwill

Festive cheer has taken over chez Gwyneth Paltrow, where neighbours have been treated to the sight of a supersized glossy wreath hanging from the Hollywood star's North London home.

Equally eye-catching was the sight of a barefooted young man hovering on her doorstep the other day, only to be invited in by a welcoming staff member. "He was very good looking, young and barefoot," says my source. "They invited him in straight away. It was all rather odd." The season of goodwill!