Andy McSmith's Diary: Jemima Khan vs Peter Mandelson, Nigel Farage's UKIP fruitcake hangover and Christine Hamilton's 'enthusiastic' young friend goes it alone for the Tories


Jemima Khan, daughter of Sir James Goldsmith, who was arguably the stroppiest multi-millionaire of his generation, has met a lot of characters, from Nick Clegg to Julian Assange, but her encounter with Peter Mandelson, the old Labour spin master, was evidently of a different order.

She tweeted: “Peter Mandelson is one of the most odious, self-satisfied, misogynistic men I have ever met. Compellingly, fascinatingly horrible.” She added: So toxic, I have a Mandyover.”

Too many fruitcakes at the UKIP picnic

If Nigel Farage is at all superstitious, he must now be wishing he had never uttered those words at a Press Gallery lunch on Wednesday about the UK Independence Party attracting “the odd fruitcake.” Almost at once, Godfrey Bloom MEP popped up to remind every of his weird views on women. Next out of the woodwork was Anna-Marie Crampton, who was due to stand on Thursday as a UKIP candidate for East Sussex County Council, until the Brighton Argus spotted comments appearing to come from her Facebook page, alongside pictures of her with Nigel Farage. The comments included this shocking claim: “The Second World War was engineered by the Zionist jews and financed by the banksters (sic) to make the general public all over the world to feel so guilty and outraged by the Holocaust that a treaty would be signed to create the State of Israel…Only the Zionists could sacrifice their own in the gas chambers.”

Crampton has been struck off the official list of UKIP candidates and faces possible expulsion from the party, though to judge by her comments on Twitter today, she is a wronged woman. “I’m NOT antisemetic,” she wrote (her spelling, not mine) “I NEVER said i do not believe in the holocaust. I've clearly been trolled. I do post on Zionism as a political movement. Further, my great grandmother was Jewish on my mother's side.” She probably thinks the final comment is the clincher.

Christine Hamilton's 'enthusiastic' young friend goes it alone for the Tories

It is 14 years since Christine Hamilton, feisty wife of the scandal-hit former Tory MP Neil Hamilton, was pictured on the front of The Sun, engaged in what looked like a passionate embrace with an Oxford undergraduate. By all accounts, it was more innocent than it appeared: the student, Will Goodhand says that it was just “a mildly enthusiastic greeting.” He has resurfaced as prospective Tory candidate for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland. It is not impossible that the Tories could take that seat in 2015, because they came within less than 1,700 votes of winning last time, but it is unlikely. And the Hamilton will not be there to help, because they are now in UKIP

Government demands action of ex-con coppers (while two sit in the Lords with previous convictions)

I see the Lords have been asking pertinent questions about police officers who are convicted of serious offences but keep their jobs. In the Met., there are currently 15 serving coppers with criminal records, of whom 10 have been convicted of serious traffic convictions such as drink driving. The Government should do something about it, was the general view in their lordships’ house. Meanwhile, those convicted expenses fiddlers, Lord Hanningfield and Lord Taylor of Warwick, continue to be serving members of the House of Lords, receiving their £300 a day attendance allowances.

Love scandal Leveson lawyer gets back to work

David Sherborne, one of the lawyers prominently involved in the Leveson Inquiry into newspaper ethics has had a difficult week after his extramarital with another Leveson lawyer, Carine Patsy Hoskins, was plastered all over the tabloid press. He was back in court today, representing complainants who believe their phones were hacked by Mirror Group newspaper journalists. Desmond Browne QC, representing MGN, seemed to find something funny in his colleague’s plight. According to the transcript, he remarked: “I of course accept that Mr Sherborne had other matters to deal with in the past few days than this, and I sympathise with him on that account, but…”