Village people: 28/11/2009



No thanks, Ann


*Ann Widdecombe's chances of a new career as Britain's envoy to the Vatican are on the wane.

After she was tipped for the post in August, it was thought that her conversion to the Roman Catholic Church, which she joined because she opposes the ordination of women, would not count against her. Every envoy to the Holy See has been Protestant except the incumbent, Francis Campbell, who is Roman Catholic. He was preceded by the first woman, Kathryn Colvin. But, much as Ann Widdecombe would love to be the next, she is not the preferred candidate. With the Pope due to visit the UK in September, the Government is looking for someone with more experience of diplomacy.

The gay side of Ukip

*Talking of feisty women, the West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire failed in her attempt yesterday to be elected leader of the UK Independence Party. A shame. Ms Sinclaire, who is 6ft 4in tall, has been mistaken for a transvestite male. She outed herself as a lesbian in 2004, after the Ukip candidate in the London mayoral election had made a disparaging comment about gays, but declined to take on leadership of a "homosexual wing" of Ukip. During the 2005 general election, the police had to arrest her after she had invaded a "Queer Question Time" organised by Birmingham Pride. She objected to there being no Ukip representative on the platform. The woman may be eccentric but she is not dull.

Driven to distraction

*Since Andrew Adonis was appointed Transport Secretary, he has earned a reputation as the first occupant of that post who really cares about trains, even riding on them whenever he can. But on Thursday night he was embarrassingly late for the annual dinner of the Greenwich and Woolwich Labour Party, where he was guest speaker, because he had varied his habits and accepted a lift in a car with two MPs. As the parliamentarians left Westminster, a lorry caught fire on the main road ahead, bringing traffic to a standstill. Their 10-mile journey, which would have taken a matter of minutes by train, lasted more than two hours. That'll teach 'em.

Art of a good story

*Tremendous publicity was given in yesterday's newspapers to evidence to the inquiry into the Iraq war from the former UK ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer. He claims to know that Tony Blair decided in 2002 to go to war in Iraq, regardless of the legalities. After Sir Christopher retired he wrote memoirs which were so contemptuous of Labour that civil servants feared he had damaged their reputation for impartiality. He did not clear the book with the Foreign Office, claiming that politicians such as Robin Cook had written books without doing so – which was simply untrue. He also revealed that "my children said to me 'Write down the story' because every time I told the story it's different". One wonders how seriously the Chilcot inquiry will take his evidence.

A Tory diary clash

*David Cameron and George Osborne are comrades, are they not? They are not rivals, trying to undermine one another. Or are they? An invitation has gone out to political journalists and others for pre-Christmas drinks with Osborne at a hotel near Parliament on Tuesday week. On that same evening, the same guests are invited to another reception held at the same time, in one of Parliament's buildings, hosted by David Cameron. Poor George is in danger of having a lot of wine to drink and no one to talk to.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn