Pandora: Not Mrs Prescott's cup of tea, surely?

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The Independent Online

Once upon an election campaign, John Prescott found himself struggling with his temper after an onlooker pelted him with an egg. Now it's the turn of the former deputy PM's photogenic wife, Pauline, to bare the brunt of a grassroots protest.

The development follows a scene in the BBC documentary, Prescott: The North South Divide, broadcast last October, in which Mr Prescott jokes that one of the family's tea cups was "stolen" from Admiralty House in London, the couple's grace-and-favour home during Prezza's time as Tony Blair's deputy.

All well and good, except for the fact that her husband's jokes appear to have landed Pauline at the sharp end of a campaign to get the cup returned. Activist Dan Haycocks, who co-ordinated the "Goodbye MacKay" protest to remove Tory MP Andrew MacKay from his seat in the wake of his expenses disclosures, has gone to the lengths of reporting the missing cup to the Metropolitan Police on the basis that it is crown property, and is calling on the public to demand its return.

"A month after I reported it, I spoke to them again and they said the folder had been classified," explains Haycocks. "No one I spoke to had access to the file. I'm not partisan and until recently I hadn't been political – but I don't care who did it, stealing is stealing and it's wrong." Curiously, no one from Prescott's office was available for comment; whether or not the cup finds its way home remains to be seen.

Labour wants you! (Part two...)

And so, in the great tradition of DIY, it's time for the hidden costs. Not content with asking members to design their election posters, the Labour Party has invited the faithful to stump up for their display budget too. Members are asked to contribute £20, with a note from David Blunkett explaining that it's all because "the winning poster is so good". "We won't be plastering the country as the Tories have done with their disastrous billboards," he explains. "But we do want to get some posters up." Aiming high, then.

Paltrow's full of pukka praise for Oliver

Jamie Oliver's trademark grin looks set to make a rather speedier return than expected.

Following his late night sobs on American television (gut-wrenching, almost), he can take comfort from the thought that Gwyneth Paltrow, at least, still adores him.

"Sigh," she gushes in the latest instalment of her ever scintillating newsletter, Goop (that's its name). "Jamie Oliver. I love Jamie Oliver. I love his food, I love his books, I love his app, I love the mission he is on. Jamie is having an effect. He is pretty great."

Paltrow, of course, is better known for her love of macrobiotic greens than of Pukka Porridge. Inspiration for the next book, perhaps, Jamie?

Clegg hones his gaffe tactics

Interviews aren't Nick Clegg's strong point. Just ask Piers Morgan, who coaxed the "no more than 30" confession from his lips. Or Cambridge paper, The Tab, to whom Clegg confessed his student days were too much fun to remember. Matt Chorley, of Western Morning News, is the latest to bear witness, after inviting him onto his "marginal mystery tour". No sooner had they met than Clegg was tweeting about his interview with "the Evening Standard's Matt Chorley". Chorley had to point out the error before Clegg sheepishly amended his message.

Jerry's tribal markings

"My family is related to an Indian tribe," exclaimed Jerry Hall, unexpectedly, at Marie Claire's Inspire & Mentor launch with the Prince's Trust this week. "Seriously, I mean it. Generations ago in Texas my relatives married into this tribe, that's how we got the blood in our family. Guess what they are called? The Long Hair tribe. All my family have long hair, my mother, my grandmother, it is just our thing. I always come under pressure to cut my hair but I won't. If it's a problem, it's in my family." Nicky Clarke, take note.