Andy McSmith's Diary: Nigel Farage might want to catch up on his reading - of his own party's manifesto - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

Andy McSmith's Diary: Nigel Farage might want to catch up on his reading - of his own party's manifesto

I try hard not to insult people on air. For you I’m going to make an exception

With hindsight, Nigel Farage might have done better not to ask to be interviewed on BBC2’s Daily Politics yesterday. He had not read the manifesto on which Ukip fought the 2010 election, his excuse being that he had stood down from the leadership at the time when it was written. Unfortunately, the programme-makers had.

“Ukip is now against replacing Trident?” the interviewer, Andrew Neil, asked him. “I’m not sure where you got that from,” Farage replied. “From your website,” said Neil. “And you want a compulsory dress code for taxi drivers,” said Neil. “Do we? News to me,” was the reply.

Farage explained: “Under the last leadership, in the 2010 election, we managed to produce a manifesto that was 486 pages long, so you can quote me all sorts of bits of it that I will not know, and that’s why I have said none of it stands today and we will launch it all after the European elections.”

Actually, the manifesto was not 486 pages, it was 16 pages, with a foreword by Nigel Farage, so he was out by 470 pages. You could check this on Ukip’s website, were it not for the fact that it appears to have been taken down.

Farage was reminded of when he said that a woman working as a City broker who took maternity leave was “worth less” than a man. Defending it, Farage declared that, “City firms look at the bottom line”.

Sitting by him was Louise Cooper, a City analyst and mother, who told him: “I try hard not to lose my temper on air and I try hard not to insult people on air. For you I’m going to make an exception. What you are saying is laughable. You are talking out of your bottom.”

Until recently, Ukip operated on the principle that there was no such thing as bad publicity. Now, it is not so sure.

With friends like these...

Suddenly, Lord Rennard has a friend. Norman Tebbit, Margaret Thatcher’s old mucker who never showed much sympathy for anyone, feels sorry for the Lib Dem peer, and thinks that the entire case against him is a “farrago of nonsense”.

Lord Tebbit’s remark, in a blog on The Daily Telegraph website, rests on the belief that Lord Rennard is accused of nothing more than touching a woman’s clothed leg. Lord Rennard denies any wrongdoing, but there is more to the accusations than that.

There is also a hint of sympathy for the peer’s predicament, with darker overtones, from the Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb. He told the Eastern Daily Press: “I fear for his mental health. I don’t want anything awful to happen as a result of this.”

Legal Liberals

More than 30 years have slipped by since David Steel told an annual conference of the Liberal Party: “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government.” But the phrase still lingers in the memory of the former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik. He rings up to say that these days, “it seems to be ‘Go back to your QCs and prepare for court’”.

Power lunch

Last April, Andrew Cooper, the pollster who advised David Cameron on how to make the Tory party look less nasty, left Downing Street after losing out in a power battle with Australian attack dog Lynton Crosby, who specialises in a rougher style of politics. Yesterday, the two were seen lunching together. A reconciliation made in heaven.

Morning mix-up

It was thoughtful of the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was on Sky News’s Sunrise yesterday, to congratulate the presenter, Charlotte Hawkins, on her award. Only the award in question went to her absent colleague Eamonn Holmes. And it was not for Sunrise, but for ITV’s This Morning. That aside, the minister was on the money.

Suggested Topics
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Sport
David Moyes and Rio Ferdinand
FootballRio Ferdinand on why the former manager failed at United
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
News
i100
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
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

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories