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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent