The Tory MP defending the Church's position on women bishops wore the colours of the Garrick Club

Our diarist on the unfortunate colour scheme sported by Tony Baldry

Share

The task of answering MPs’ indignant yesterday about the Church of England Synod’s refusal to recognise women bishops fell to the Tory MP Sir Tony Baldry in his capacity as the Second Church Estates Commissioner.

It was generally agreed that he did well, though the Tory right did not altogether appreciate his observation that the synod debate was “a bit like Government Whips trying to talk to the Eurosceptics; there were those in the General Synod who, whatever the bishops said to them, were just not going to listen.” The choice of tie he was wearing, over a bright pink shirt, was also curiously inappropriate. It was the salmon and cucumber striped tie of London’s elite Garrick Club. Notoriously, the Garrick does not accept women members.

End or her...

A rumour went around Westminster yesterday that Sarah Teather, Lib Dem MP for Brent central was on the point of defecting to the Labour Party. Something to do with her being at the end of her tether, perhaps. (Sorry!) This was refuted by a tweet from the Lib Dem chief whip, Alistair Carmichael: “I just asked her, says she would rather poke her own eyes out with a safety pin than join Labour.”

Drawing lots

Congratulations to Labour’s Sarah Gallacher, a 28 year old primary school teacher, for taking a seat off the Tories in a council by-election in Doncaster, albeit in curious circumstances. There were two candidates: Mrs Gallacher and a Conservative, Symeon Waller. After four recounts, the council’s chief executive Jo Miller declared that they had tied, with 129 votes each. The contest was settled by having a Labour councillor and the Tory Deputy Mayor draw lots, and Labour got lucky.

Good Grieve

Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, was speaking on Wednesday night at an event in the House of Lords to mark the 30th anniversary of the law firm, Zaiwalla & Co. He praised the many contributions to charities made by the firm’s founder Sarosh Zaiwalla. He could also have begged for a little charity from one of his listeners, Heather Tchenguiz. She is the wife of the property developer, Robert, Tchenguiz. He and his brother Vincent were arrested in a highly publicised swoop by the Serious Fraud Office in March 2011, during an investigation into the collapse of an Icelandic bank.

They were never charged, and earlier this month a court awarded them full reimbursement of their legal costs, which could set the SFO back by £3 million. Vincent has threated to sue the SFO for £100 million damages. The SFO answers to the Attorney General.

Taxing matters

With tax avoidance and tax havens being pushed up the political agenda, I note that Shirley Williams, dowager queen of the Liberal Democrats, has been asking awkward questions in the House of Lords about how much money is stashed away in bank accounts in places like Jersey, which she called “one of the most secretive tax havens in the world.” The answer is that there is about £19 billion held in bank accounts in Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man.

The combined population of those islands is less than 247,000, so by my calculation there is an average of £77,000 stashed in the banks for every resident man, woman or child – unless some of that loot has been deposited by people who do not live there but have put their money beyond the reach of HMRC, which is what Baroness Williams suspects. This being a coalition government, it was up to a Liberal Democrat peer, Richard Newby, to reply. “We have to understand that simply because you have a bank account in Jersey does not of itself mean that you are a crook,” he said, thoughtfully. 

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Support Manager - Staffordshire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Manager - Near...

Nursery assistants required for day to day roles in Cambridge

£10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Corporate Communications Manager - London - £60,000

£55000 - £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Corporate Marketing Communications M...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

August catch-up: genius of Apple, fools and commercial enterprises, and the Queen

John Rentoul
Tory whips were anxiously ringing round the “usual suspects” following Douglas Carswell's defection to Ukip  

i Editor's Letter: Douglas Carswell's defection

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone