The week in Review: Home news

(First Edition)

SO THAT explains it, then. Slump, recession, everything. As the row over who paid the legal bills of Norman Lamont, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, gathered momentum, it emerged that earlier revelations that he had let a flat to a self-styled sex therapist had affected his ability to do his job.

Intrigue over the whereabouts of a sex therapist of a different sort also grew during the week as the police searched for Lindi St Clair, also known as Miss Whiplash, the leader of the Corrective Party. She disappeared last weekend leaving her hire car abandoned near Beachy Head, a notorious suicide spot, just after disclosing she was to expose 252 MPs who had availed themselves of her services. Police said last night they had tracked her to Florida.

Kelvin MacKenzie, the normally publicity-shy editor of the Sun, told the committee of MPs examining press intrusions in the wake of the Calcutt report that they were 'nuts' if they wanted privacy laws like those in the US. Those laws, he warned in a bruising confrontation, would have allowed him to print every name on Miss St Clair's list, and none would have had any legal comeback.

On the other side of the Atlantic they had their mind on other things with the jamboree to inaugurate Bill Clinton as the 42nd President of the US, leaving John Major trying to build a new 'special relationship' by backing the latest American air strikes in Iraq.

Mr Major's relationship with his own electorate faltered again as it emerged that the country was edging ever-closer to the point where 3 million people would be unemployed. Even the first hopes that the economy might be on the turn - shops reported brisk Christmas business - faded with the news that retail sales were down overall in December.

Part of the continuing sales slump might be explained by the discovery of a 17-year shoplifting spree by a 79-year-old widow who had filled her home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, with 6,941 items worth pounds 60,000, all in their original wrapping.

As secrets go, probably the worst-kept one of the week was that five MPs from the Home Affairs Select Committee were to have lunch with Stella Rimington, the head of MI5, to discuss the 'Camillagate' and 'Squidgy' tapes. The little band was followed to the Gower Street headquarters of the secret service in taxis and on motorcycles by a posse of journalists, who duly 'doorstepped' the meeting. Mrs Rimington, the MPs told them on leaving, had been 'charming' and they had been reassured that MI5 was not responsible for the tapes.

The Princess of Wales, however, lost her cool with a press photographer who got a little too close, too often, during an official visit in east London. 'Stop pestering me]' she shouted, just before he was warned off by her bodyguards.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine