Pandora: Wanted: a trio of people to replace Lord Cashpoint

Now that Labour's silver-quiffed fund-raiser Lord Levy has all but burned his bridges with the party, the hunt is on to find his successor. Party bosses are currently advertising for two "high-value" fund-raising officers, as well as an assistant, who might be able to entice any big hitters willing to part with their cash and help it out of its latest financial woes.

The key purpose of the jobs, according the advertisements, will be "the identification, recruitment and relationship development of donors giving a minimum of £1,000 to the Labour Party".

The "relationship development of donors" of course, ran into severe trouble during the so-called "cash for peerages" row which resulted in Lord Levy's departure.

The move comes after it was suggested this weekthat the party is in severe financial dire straits. According to reports, Labour has just five weeks to stump up £7.45m to pay off loans from banks and wealthy donors, recruited by Levy, while a reputed £6.2m more will be needed to be paid back before the end of the year to avoid insolvency.

As if to illustrate how tight things are financially, the ad also stipulates that the new fund-raisers will be paid an annual salary of no more than £33,000 in return for turning around the party's financial affairs.

If there is anyone out there up for a particularly challenging couple of years, the closing date for applications is next Friday.

Wall Street shuffle is the Marshall method

Despite occupying the persona of an overgrown teenager, the actor Kris Marshall took a "method" approach worthy of a Hollywood veteran to his latest role.

In preparation for his current run on the West End stage in Neil LaBute's Fat Pig, Marshall – who found fame in the BBC sitcom My Family – ventured all the way to the United States. "Well I went to New York actually – to Wall Street," he told me at the play's opening night at the Trafalgar Studios this week. "I wanted to see how people talked, how jocks talk and walk. I mean he's a real jock my character. It seemed the perfect place to go."

It is a marked contrast to his co-star – Robert Webb of Peep Show fame – who, when I asked whether he had worked out for scenes in which he is required to take off his shirt, replied: "No, no, I've never seen the inside of a gym in my life."

Lembit's just plane funny

Ever the shrinking violet, Lembit Opik just can't wait for his upcoming appearance alongside rocker Johnny Borrell.

Next Tuesday, the Liberal Democrat matinee idol is due to take the stage at the London Science Museum with the Razorlight frontman, where they will appear in a one-off gig to support Friends of the Earth's climate change campaign.

"I'm just pleased I can help him out," says Opik, who I'm told is a keen harmonicist. "I'm sure he'll be rather excited to have his profile increased by performing alongside someone like me."

Sharp as a fox, he's chosen for them to play an ironic rendition of Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver.

Bit of a Staite

No sooner has London's new Mayor, Boris Johnson, got his feet firmly under the desk at City Hall than the Conservative leader, David Cameron, has nabbed back one of his best footsoldiers.

Among those drafted in to sharpen up BoJo's campaign team at the start of the year was the Tory staffer Ed Staite, who, as his official spokesman, was given the unenviable task of keeping Boris's foot firmly out of his mouth.

Although Staite was expected to remain in City Hall at the helm of the Mayor's press office, I am told that Cameron has recently ordered him to take control of the forthcoming by-election in Johnson's old Henley seat.

Says one colleague: "Poor Ed. He feels as though he has just let go of his child's hand and allowed him to cross the road alone for the first time."

Sir Howard makes a trunk call

The Institute of Contemporary Arts' forthcoming 60th anniversary could throw up a few surprises. As part of the celebrations, it is holding an auction of new works by some the country's leading artists.

One of the highlights of the auction promises to be Sir Howard Hodgkin's portrait of the ICA's modish artistic director, Ekow Eshun.

According to this month's The Art Newspaper, the saucy Hodgkin reportedly requested Ekow attend the sittings clad in nothing but a pair of packet-bashing Speedo swimming trunks.

"Pure speculation!" cries a red-faced spokesman for the ICA when I call. "Certainly the first I've heard of it, anyway."

pandora@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?