Pandora: Tories' animal welfare man savaged by monkey

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The Independent Online

Andrew Rosindell made a suitable choice as the Tories' animal welfare spokesman; after all, he's the fellow who is prone to dressing up his pet bulldog in a Union Flag.

So it is ironic to report that, during a recent trip to Gibraltar, the maverick MP for Romford came under attack from one of the outpost's resident primates.

Rosindell paid a visit to the British overseas territory two weeks ago to join in its National Day celebrations. The trip was marred, however, when one of the Rock's native Barbary macaques decided to take a chunk out of him. "I popped up the Rock just to see how they were getting on when one of them came along and took a bite out of my left shoulder," he tells me. "I had to get the cable car back down and get straight to hospital, where they bandaged me up and gave me some injections.

"Fortunately, the Gibraltarian government make sure they have inoculations, so the doctors don't expect any lasting damage.

"At the moment, I'm at home recovering quite well but I am expecting to be fighting fit for the [Conservative Party] conference in Birmingham next week."

This is not the first run-in that Rozza has had with the local wildlife. During a staged photo-op several years ago, he encouraged a young researcher to pose with one of the apes, only for it to crap all down his neatly pressed shirt.

Kate's brush with the arts

Following Damien Hirst's £95m windfall at Sotheby's last week, there are further signs that the art market needs to take a long lie-down with a wet flannel on its forehead. On Saturday, the Edinburgh gallery Lyon & Turnbull will be placing a painting by Kate Moss under the hammer. The self-portrait, which the model completed in 2006 during her relationship with rocker Pete Doherty, comes adorned with Doherty's blood.

Bafflingly, it's expected to fetch between £30,000 and £40,000.

"It's being sold by a private client who bought the work off Pete Doherty over a meal at Soho House," explains a spokesman for the gallery. "He's even got the receipt Doherty wrote for him on a napkin. We're expecting a lot of interest, because as far as we know, it's the only painting she's done."

Gabriel gets in the Olympic spirit

Peter Gabriel, the pop guru-turned humanitarian, has joined the lengthy queue of people clamouring for a cut in the budget for London's 2012 Olympics.

"Instead of spending a fortune on the opening ceremony, we should begin with a simple ceremony," he says.

"Perhaps if the Queen walked in to the main arena and declared the Games open with a short speech along the lines of, 'You will all be delighted to learn that the cost of a lavish opening ceremony has been saved this year and all of the money that would have been spent has instead been sent to Africa to be used for much more worthwhile causes'."

Gabriel, who has just received an award from Amnesty International for his human rights work, also suggests the Olympics should be split in two, with a category for clean athletes and another for those who take performance enhancing drugs. "Now that would be interesting," he adds.

Hemingway on his bike

Designer Wayne Hemingway sold his fashion label Red or Dead a few years back for an estimated £25m, but isn't one to flash the cash. When Pandora ran into him leaving a recent cocktail party in Soho, he was preparing to head off into the night on his bicycle.

"I'm staying with my kids at their place in Wembley," he told me. "It's only an eight-mile ride, so it shouldn't take me too long."

VIPs no longer

Now Cherie no longer lays her head at Downing Street, her father Tony Booth can't expect the red carpet treatment at Labour conference. Booth needed help from the Radisson hotel's manager, Stephen Miles, to organise passes for himself and his wife this week after turning up in Manchester without the right accreditation.

Dyer watches his mouth

When Danny Dyer opens his cakehole, chroniclers of the good old-fashioned gaffe reach for their notebooks. He stayed shtum at the Nokia N96 party on Monday. "I'm giving the press a swerve at the moment," he muttered. "I always put my foot in it."