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."

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

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?