Pandora: Tory MP seeks bloggers' help with 'smear' revenge
Tuesday 08 September 2009
Five months after the event, the legal tussle over "Smeargate" has begun. Nadine Dorries, pictured, the Tory MP falsely accused by Labour spinners Damian McBride and Derek Draper of having an affair, has sued her accusers for libel.
What's more, she has ensured the case proceeds in as dramatic a fashion as possible, enlisting right-wing bloggers Guido Fawkes and Tory Bear to deliver the writs to McBride and Draper.
Yesterday morning, Fawkes (real name Paul Staines) was waiting to greet McBride on his first day as business and community manager at Finchley Catholic High School in north London.
Shortly afterwards, fellow blogger Tory Bear arrived at Draper's home, where he handed the papers to the psychotherapist's photogenic wife, GMTV presenter Kate Garraway.
"Nadine's lawyers first approached me because they needed copies of the emails," explains Staines of the stunt. "They asked me if I knew where to find McBride and I offered to serve the papers. We spotted him walking across the playground picking up litter as he went.
"I don't really know what their defence could be. After all, they've already admitted that the claims were false!"
Jude's (very) big date
*Mark a circle on your calender, around 6 October, and keep an eye on the other side of the Atlantic. Not only is it the due date of Jude Law's (alleged) American child, but it is also the night that his performance of Hamlet – after a rather mixed reception in the West End – moves on to Broadway. Not that he'll be reading the reviews this time around. "If you get bad reviews, they're going to crush your ego," he complains to the New York Times. "It's like vinegar in the wound. So there's no point."
Shayler prepares to pitch his tent
*Three weeks after his eviction from a National Trust home in Surrey, David Shayler has found a new berth. The renegade former spook (now reinvented as Dolores, the cross-dressing "Messiah") hopes to join the next Climate Camp. "The group has gone in different directions," explains Shayler. "We'll still keep in touch. When you go through an eviction like we did it is great for bonding, but it's time to move on." According to their website, the camp's next stop is Nottinghamshire. Homeowners, watch out!
Hamiltons plan a comeback
Joyous news (at least if your tastes in entertainment veer towards the red-spandex and whipping end of the spectrum). Neil and Christine Hamilton are to return to the Edinburgh Festival.
Pandora was most disappointed to hear that the former Tory MP and his wife, who in previous years have offered audiences all kinds of thrills with their late-night chat show, would be sitting out the summer.
"We love it there," Mrs Hamilton, pictured, tells us. "We were just too busy to go this year and after three years you do need a break. It's very exhausting but we have a whale of a time, though."
Curses! They stole our witch
*Toil and trouble at Wookey Hole. We are told that the Somerset tourist attraction's new witch, appointed this summer following an nationwide competition, is already causing controversy after agreeing to moonlight for an estate agent. She will, apparently, show house-hunters around properties in full regalia to supplement her £50,000 salary. Gerry Cottle, the moneyed owner of Wookey Hole, is none too pleased – but then who's going to argue with a witch?
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