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
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy