Andy McSmith's Diary: You can’t complain about Page 3 while wearing a PVC skirt. Discuss

 

The Labour MP Stella Creasy put her head well over the parapet when she challenged David Cameron to say whether he supported the campaign to get The Sun to stop publishing its famous Page 3 feature – a challenge that the Prime Minister dodged.

The first act of retribution came swiftly, in the form of a tweet from The Sun’s political editor, Tom Newton Dunn: “Boldly, @stellacreasy has just asked the PM to justify Page 3 – while wearing a bright blue PVC skirt in the Commons chamber.”

In the Twitter spat that followed, she invited Newton Dunn to carry on commenting on how other MPs, such as Cameron, were dressed. He claimed to “fully support ALL equal opportunity; yours to wear what you want – and p3 girls to express themselves as they want”. As the day progressed, Newton Dunn inspired Twitter comments about his suit, tie and trouser length. Do not expect it to end there.

Truth and reconciliation

David Cameron got through half an hour of Prime Minister’s Questions without a single Labour MP asking him about that “selfie” of him and Barack Obama on either side of the Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. There was a good reason.

Labour’s business managers thought that Cameron had made a fool of himself. “It’s amazing what a man will do, even a world leader, when asked to by an attractive woman,” one said.

But they also judged that Cameron would have too easy a comeback because Thorning-Schmidt is married to Stephen Kinnock, son of Labour’s ex-leader.

And they were right. When the relevant question came at the very end, from the Liberal Democrat Martin Horwood, Cameron replied: “Nelson Mandela played an extraordinary role in his life and in his death in bringing people together, so of course when a member of the Kinnock family asked me for a photograph, I thought it only polite to  say yes.”

Nice guys finish last

“Gillard adviser outed as abusive,” says the headline on the website of Australia’s ABC network, in what purports to be an exposé of John McTernan, a former adviser to Tony Blair who also worked for Australia’s ex-prime minister Julia Gillard, but is now back in the UK.

They say they have seen “thousands” of emails which reinforce the view that McTernan was Malcolm Tucker made flesh – and then rely on an example of him using a word that rhymes with Jeremy Hunt’s surname in a single email.

It does make me wonder how these poor fragile Aussies would have coped if ever Alastair Campbell, or Peter Mandelson, or Gordon Brown’s spinners Damian McBride and Charlie Whelan, had descended on them. In that company, McTernan always passed as one of the nice guys.

Redemption for Tories?

By the time Will Brown reached the age of 42, he had been in and out of institutions for 30 years. Being released was like taking “home leave”: he didn’t look for work, he had a drug habit to feed, after three or four months he would be back behind bars.

Then he was contacted in prison by the Sycamore Tree, a project run by the Prison Fellowship, and was introduced to a woman named Christine who described the trauma of having her home invaded and being tied up by two drug-crazed young burglars.

“That could have been me,” Will says.

“I done terrible crimes and they never left me any sleepless nights, but months after hearing Christine’s story, I couldn’t sleep. Christine gave me a conscience. I had never had a conscience.” He is now out of prison, off drugs and in a steady job.

He was talking at a meeting in the Commons organised by a group of charities, including the Prison Fellowship and Bible Society, to spread the word that this kind of restorative justice, as well as having overtones of confession and redemption, actually works. The Home Office minister Jeremy Wright is a convert. He said the Government  will put £29m into it in three years.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015