Miss Whiplash faxes by-election promise

A SMALL ray of sunshine illuminated the life of a tax inspector in West Sussex yesterday when Lindi St Clair, aka Miss Whiplash, announced her return to Britain to fight a by-election.

S J Pinkney, the tax man, may have been relieved that Ms St Clair was safe and well in Papua New Guinea after disappearing on the eve of exposing the depraved lives of hundreds of MPs.

He may simply be looking forward to her return to ask how she enjoyed her first-class round-the-world trip on the cruise liner Canberra. But it is more likely that he is relishing the prospect of resuming his discussions over the prostitute's pounds 112,779.92 tax arrears.

Ms St Clair announced by fax that she would stand as a candidate for the Corrective Party, which she founded to campaign for prostitutes' rights, in the Newbury by-election.

The by-election was forced by the death last week of Judith Chaplin, the Conservative MP, but no date has yet been set for it.

The fax, from the Travelodge in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, came a month after Ms St Clair's Jaguar was mysteriously abandoned at Beachy Head in East Sussex on the day that she told a reporter she was planning to publish a 'dirt file' on 252 MPs.

The subsequent stories about her apparently-faked disappearance had 'damaged' her integrity, she wrote in her fax, adding that she was 'gobsmacked' that 'certain parliamentary windbags got their Y-fronts in a twist (over) such ridiculous falsehoods'.

Sussex police, rumoured to have spent up to pounds 100,000 searching for Ms St Clair, were also looking forward to her return so they could discuss a possible charge of wasting police time.

'Arrangements are in hand to interview her on her return to this country,' Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kennett said. The presence of officers at the quayside was, he said, only a possibility.

Back at the Inland Revenue, no one would say how her arrival in Britain would be handled, or whether a Mr S J Pinkney would be there to welcome her home.