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UK Politics

Conservative Conference Diary: Mrs Gove comes out swinging to defend her hubby in Twitter duel


An extraordinary Twitter spat exploded into the internet at the weekend between two prominent journalists who are both married to famous men.

It was set off when the columnist Deborah Orr noticed that someone else had tweeted that they had seen the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, out shopping with his daughter. "It never occurred to me that this man had had sex," she commented.

The Times journalist, Sarah Vine, wife of Michael Gove, understandably bridled and promptly sent Ms Orr a curt message: "Cheap."

Thereafter their dialogue on Twitter, went as follows: SV: "My child. Think about it."

DO: "Since your husband feels he knows best for everyone's children, I'm sure his own will be fine."

SV: "Since you've chosen to go private, what's it to you? (Since the gloves seem to be off) Why are you being so horrible?"

DO: "Why are you being so ludicrously thin-skinned?"

SV: "Because, my dear, you are picking on a nine-year-old because you dislike her father. You are being irrational and cruel."

At that point, Ms Orr relented and told Ms Vine: "I'm sorry you're upset."

75,000 tweets for PM make bookies sweat

David Cameron once said he would not join Twitter because "too many twits might make a twat". Yesterday, @david_cameron joined Twitter, but it was Ladbrokes, who offered odds of 25-1 that Cameron would not reach 100,000 followers before the conference was over, who looked like twits. The PM had 75,000 by lunchtime.

Delegates who wear Boris on their sleeve

Phil Pinder of Cuffs & Co, who did a roaring trade in "I Love Ed" cuff links last week, is now offering Tories a choice between Dave and Boris. So far, Boris is ahead. Mr Pinder has also found out who bought a pair of "Old Brownite" links last week – Angela Smith, former Labour MP for Basildon. She's thinking of giving them to Gordon.

Cameron answers the badger activists

Visitors to the conference yesterday had to get past an angry protest about the proposed badger cull.

David Cameron was asked about it by a journalist from This is Gloucestershire and claimed mass slaughter was "the right policy for healthy badgers as well as healthy cattle". So, you badgers, when the nice gunman comes to kill you and your family, it is for your own good.

Quote of the day: 'We were led by Disraeli, his beliefs were Conservative through and through, and, Ed Miliband, you are no Disraeli' - William Hague