Pandora: Should Davis forget about his dream job?

David Cameron may have announced plans to promote his former leader Iain Duncan Smith, but there remain no such assurances for the party's long-serving henchman David Davis.

Just this week, the former Shadow Home Secretary was busy laying down the conditions regarding a future return to the political front line. "I don't want to be just an adornment," he helpfully explained. "If there's a proper job to be done, an issue to be dealt with, then, sure, of course."

Friends of Davis, who was facing uncharitable whispers of "midlife crisis" when he surprisingly quit his Shadow Cabinet post last year to trumpet civil liberties in a by-election, claim the former leadership contender's "dream job" is that of Foreign Secretary – a post seemingly unlikely to be troubling him any time soon.

Indeed, senior Cameroons were privately sprinkling cold water on Davis's comeback plans, following his pitch in Manchester this week. "When David stood down, he ended his chances of ever having a top Cabinet post," I was told yesterday. "His best hope is a decent ambassador's role abroad. That would stop him causing any trouble at home."

Bubbly reception for Pickles

As Pandora noted yesterday, the amiable Conservative chairman Eric Pickles is generally considered to have blotted his copybook, thanks to his ill-fated ban on champagne at this week's conference. So picture the scene on Wednesday when poor Pickles attended a plush local government reception where bubbly was in plentiful supply. While gossip was soon doing the rounds that he had succumbed to temptation, his spokesman hastily rejected such tittle-tattle. "Eric did not drink any champagne," he insisted yesterday.

Quo rocked by snub from Holland

Having already faced the flustered Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw's accusations of bias this week, surely the BBC can ill afford to make any more powerful enemies?

Yet I hear those national treasures of dad rock, Status Quo, have now weighed in, claiming they've been cruelly blacklisted by BBC 2's Later... With Jools Holland. "I'd love to do it, but they won't have us," sighs the veteran axeman Rick Parfitt. "Perhaps we're not cool enough?"

His bandmate Francis Rossi adds: "It's a bit of a drag because Quo are primarily a live band.

"We'd love to go on and play loud."

Hold your head in shame, Mr Holland!

All the answers for Tory hopefuls

I feel duty-bound to report an instructive exchange overheard between a Tory "image consultant" and one young political hopeful in a Manchester bar this week. When asked for advice on how to become a parliamentary candidate, the "expert" carried out the briefest of inspections before telling the delegate: "a) get a suit that fits; b) lose two stone; c) buy a new pair of glasses; and d) stop looking sexually ambiguous. If you're gay, be gay. If you're straight, get a wedding ring."

Thompson grows older gracefully

Having recently reached her half-century, Emma Thompson assures us she won't be following in the footsteps of Hollywood rivals by battling the advancing years.

"Old is very sexy," says the Oscar-winning actress. "It must be awful for women who are in denial and insist on looking 20 years younger. How are we going to produce beautiful older women if we don't allow ourselves to be older?

"I think the trick is to age honestly and gracefully. Trying to constantly look younger must be exhausting."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor