Andy McSmith's Diary: Egg on Benyon’s face in food fight

 

Richard Benyon, the minister responsible for food, was given an idea of what it would be like to be pelted with rotting vegetables yesterday after remarks that he made in the Commons were all over the front of the Daily Telegraph. Coming on the same day that he was identified as Britain’s richest MP, with an estimated fortune of £105m, it did not look good that he was apparently telling families that a bit more care about managing their fridges and keeping perishable food properly wrapped would help them through these times of austerity.

It has inspired an online petition demanding to know what is in the Benyon family fridge.

David Cameron sounded thoroughly embarrassed when interviewed on BBC1’s Breakfast programme. “Obviously, that does not look good, but what you’ve done is take a newspaper article, assume that everything in it is right,” he said.

But everything in the article was right, because it all comes straight off the official record, in Hansard – though to be fair, Mr Benyon, pictured, was talking about the environmental impact of the £12m worth of food that is thrown away every year, adding that “most people want to do something on a personal level.” And he did suggest: “There may be some changes in the Benyon household.”

Bell’s a mouthpiece, not a priest

In December 2011, The Independent ran an exposé of how an executive of the lobbying firm Bell Pottinger had boasted that they had been able to get David Cameron to speak to the Chinese premier on behalf of a business client.

The publicity may have alarmed Chime, the communications company that owned Bell Pottinger – but that only helped speed up a management buy-out. Tim Bell does not mind the publicity that comes from representing some clients like the Belarussian government or the wife of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. “We don’t think it’s part of our job to make the industry this wonderful thing that people clap and cheer ,” he said. “We communicate for people who need to tell their story – if they don’t tell a true story, they’ll get found out. I’m not some kind of priest.”

They’re best Left alone

“Nottingham and Notts Left Unity had its first meeting on April 17th,” says a report online. “A mix-up meant that a number of people didn’t receive an agenda, but nine people did turn up...” There you go then: left unity sorted.

You shouldn’t lie down with dogs, Ed

Whatever Ed Miliband’s reason for meeting George Galloway, it was a bad idea. Galloway, who loves attention, has taken to Twitter to say that “Miliband’s claim that he repeatedly pursued me for a one-hour meeting about “boundary changes” is, quite simply, a lie.” No more meetings are in prospect, I understand.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
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 General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker