Where are Alastair Campbell and John Scarlett when you need them to rebut this awful tittle-tattle about Tony and Wendi?

Details of the friendship continue to trickle into the public domain

Share
Related Topics

The flow of information is a bit drippy, not to mention drabby, but details of the friendship that allegedly terminated Rupert Murdoch’s marriage continue to trickle into the public domain. In his second consecutive splash on this poignant tale, the Mail on Sunday’s Simon Walters, after reporting last week that Wendi Deng and Tony Blair spent nights together at her husband’s Californian ranch without Rupert’s knowledge, returns to Wendi’s friendship with Mr T. Simon has learned of a note Wendi “wrote to herself” in which she touched on having “warm feelings” for Mr T comparable to “a crush”. In further shock tidings, he relates that Rupert has spoken of “a shocking betrayal” by his one-time colleague in Britain’s regnant duumvirate; that Rupert made Mr T cancel an appearance at a media conference he was also attending; that there were further meetings between Mr T and Wendi at Rupert’s London home and New York’s Carlyle Hotel; and that these innocent meetings were “a factor” in his decision to divorce her. Mr T continues to dismiss the allegations. A “long-standing friend” claims that, being “a sympathetic guy” as well as a pretty straightforward one, Mr T was merely offering emotional support to a woman “trapped in a hideous marriage”. Another friend who heard the denial first hand says: “I believe Tony. He would never do such a thing and he is not a liar.” No one sane could believe that he is, yet the allegation nonetheless needs scotching. Perhaps he should ask Alastair Campbell to compile an intelligence dossier from internet gossip categorically rebutting it – this could be done in 45 minutes – and have Sir John Scarlett release it as hard fact in the conventional manner.

Nadine loses her very own Battle of Waterloo

At last, Labour MP David Lammy, the Celebrity Mastermind contender who posited that the Marie who won the Nobel prize for research into radiation was Antoinette, has a telly quizzing rival. Nadine Dorries graced Saturday’s celeb edition of ITV1’s The Chase, when she was loudly applauded for her refusal to claim any expenses by an audience presumably unaware of her previous record in this vexed area. Buoyed by that reception, Nadine performed brilliantly, if briefly, in her personal battle with Ann Hegarty, our second most beloved Chaser after the glorious Paul Sinha. Lack of space limits us to but one of Nadine’s selections from the multiple choice answers on offer. “Where was the Duke of Wellington when he reputedly said ‘I never saw so many bad hats in my life’?” asked host Bradley Walsh. When Nadine plumped for “Royal Ascot”, a roar of mirth from her fan club in the audience coaxed her belatedly to amend this to “the Battle of Waterloo”. Finally, on discovering that the correct answer was “the House of Commons”, she murmured a mystified “We don’t wear hats”, suggesting that she regards the Iron Duke as a contemporary political figure. Hats of all types off to Nadine, who is expected to register the fee for the show, on her I’m A Celebrity ... precedent, in the autumn of 2042.

The economy? Don’t ask me, I’m just the Chancellor

A lively edition of Andrew Marr’s BBC1 show found both the Chancellor and his shadow on cracking form. Before we  come to Ed Balls, a dollop of praise for George Osborne. “Are you absolutely confident the recovery will last into 2015?” asked Marr, and George’s answer was worthy of Nadine the previous evening. “Well,” he said, “I’m not an economic forecaster.” Of course not. That’s why he never makes economic forecasts, and restricts his predictions from the Dispatch Box to such non-economic areas as borrowing requirement and anticipated GDP growth rate. Note that George later added, “I wanna make sure the police have the means to do their job... and we’re reminded in Glasgow of what an incredible job they do.” While accepting the lack of any intent to offend, you do wonder whether crashing a helicopter into a pub lends a patina of ambiguity to the phrase “an incredible job”.

Breaking Balls: one man’s quest to goad the PM

Ed Balls also sparkled on the sabbath sofa after Marr introduced him as a “relentless irritant” to the benches opposite (though considering he was recently called a “nightmare” by Ed Miliband’s economic adviser, that sounded ungenerous).

“Ed Balls,” said Marr in bidding him a brief farewell, “I can see why you irritate them.” “Pleasure, pleasure, that’s my job,” he replied, but it’s more than that. It’s his vocation, as he proved on returning at the end of the show to declare, unbidden and in pursuance of his campaign to goad David Cameron on the tiresome drug question, that he has never taken crystal meth. He might have added “if it looks that way, like Charlie Sheen, I’m high on being Ed Balls,” but he didn’t.

Louise and the basic facts remain poles apart

One who has confessed to taking Class As is  Louise Mensch. The woman who has made  the amazing journey from rock chick to (Murdoch) apparatchik once referred on Question Time to residual mental damage from her drug use, as she weekly confirms in her Sun on Sunday column.

After, four weeks ago, unilaterally bringing forward the next presidential election by a year, she was at it again yesterday. In railing against the nuclear deal with Iran, she observed that “the only good news is that 2015 is not too far away – and Hillary Clinton is made of stronger stuff than Obama”.

For God’s sake, Louise, this is not a proposition from Heidegger. Now concentrate. The. Next. Presidential. Election. Is. In. November. Two. Thousand. And. SIXTEEN.

React Now

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

C# asp.net Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Jude Law has just announced that he will be fathering his fifth child  

Everyone, even Jude Law, should be able to live out their love lives in private

Peter Jukes
The number of children in relative income poverty is currently 2.3 million in the UK  

If you think jobs provide a route out of poverty, then you should talk to the working mother who can't afford a bath for her family

Javed Khan
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past