The Cabinet Reshuffle: Lamont's mother shows a keen business sense

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The Independent Online
IRENE Lamont, the canny 82-year-old who told the world of her son's resignation, fielded reporters' questions quite happily yesterday until a friend arrived, writes Marianne Macdonald.

Then she was whisked inside, the curtains snapped shut and the door firmly locked. Pleas for interviews continued to filter mournfully through the letter box at her retirement home in Grimsby, Humberside, and then Mrs Lamont proved she had as much, arguably more, financial acumen as her son.

Kneeling by the letter box, the Scottish pensioner retorted: 'It is pounds 10 a question and if you cannae afford it, lay off, laddie.'

But she did a U-turn when an intrepid reporter poked pounds 10 inside. He was told by her friend to leave and his crumpled note summarily ejected.

Mrs Lamont was among the first Mr Lamont telephoned after being removed. She then gave the Grimsby Evening Telegraph the exclusive, saying that, as Norman had lived in Grimsby as a child, she thought people would be interested.

(Photograph omitted)