Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary

Our accumulator

Share

One of the council chiefs who earned more than the Prime Minister has been appointed director of the League Against Cruel Sports. Joe Duckworth, former head of Newham council in east London, was the second biggest earner in a survey of local authority fat cats conducted last year, with a salary of £241,483.

He resigned abruptly in July, but is set to replace Douglas Batchelor as chief executive of the LACS. Batchelor, who retires this summer, caused some controversy as the charity's only employee to earn more than £60,000. Accounts show that he takes home between £110,000 and £120,000 – plenty, given that the LACS only spends £2.25m per year. A spokeswoman declines to say whether Duckworth will get the same when he joins, though she helpfully points out that whatever he gets, it will be a significant pay cut, and that anyway "he cares passionately about the charity".





After an exhaustive examination, the only speck of excitement in Sarah Brown's 450-page memoir appears to be a reference to Suzanne Mubarak, wife of the former President Mubarak of Egypt. She is warmly described as "a gracious visitor", who is "very effective at campaigning for women", and "a woman who has, over many years, really worked out how to get so many things done for a number of women's and children's causes in her country". Unfortunately Mrs Mubarak's hard work hasn't been quite enough for the people of Egypt, who deposed her and her husband last month. I'm sure Sarah has been in touch to offer her old pal some support in these difficult times, though not completely, as her office refuses to discuss the matter when I call.





Naomi Campbell, Sienna Miller and Cherie Blair are among a babble of celebrities who have got excited about the new website iCorrect.com, a platform for correcting false news stories. None is more enthusiastic than Richard Caring, the éminence orange of London's restaurant scene, who owns The Ivy and Le Caprice. He has taken the unusual step of imposing himself on his diners by sending an email to the Caprice database, urging everyone to join the site. "It is very rare that I would contact you on an issue unrelated to Caprice Holdings, but in this instance I feel it is both topical and appropriate," he writes. He goes on to enthuse about the site, set up by his "very close friend" Sir David Tang, and encourages his high profile clients to "set the record straight". This won't make him popular with newspaper editors, who are bound to find iCorrect irksome, but the opportunity to clear up the rumours about his tan was too good to resist: "For the record, my tan is NOT fake!" he shrieks.





Novelist Helena Frith Powell denies her friendship with Marco Pierre White has ever been more than that. Even so, her new book Love in a Warm Climate was launched at Frankie's, an MPW watering hole, hosted by the man himself. She tells me they met in Oxford when he was a kitchen hand for Raymond Blanc, and, he was so mad about her that he blew his weekly £25 wages on her. But she only had eyes for Willie Harcourt-Cooze, the dark-haired chocolate-maker who, in turn, was in love with Rachel Weisz. Frith Powell is now married with three children, but was delighted when Willie Wonka turned up at her party. Stumped how to dedicate her book to him, she ignored MPW's suggestion of "You had your f***ing chance", and went for a more tender: "A first love never dies". It all sounds like the plot of her novel, which is about women and affairs, but she assures me it is a work of fiction.





Claire Bloom and Terry Gilliam will appear at the Bradford Film Festival, which kicks off on Wednesday. One film premiering there is Blooded, a film about hunt protesters which, as I revealed last week, has provoked a war of words on the internet between pros and antis. Now, tensions have reached such a peak that YouTube has taken down clips from the film which appear to show huntsmen being kidnapped and shot at. Although it remains unclear whether the grainy footage is real or faked, YouTube editors were concerned about the messages of support being posted.





Javier de Frutos, the choreographer who brought female masturbation and a choirboy-buggering pope to Sadler's Wells, has lashed out at my colleague Jenny Gilbert. Interviewed in the arts pages of today's IoS, he dismisses as "absolute bollocks" her claim that his 'Eternal Damnation to Sancho and Sanchez' was a veiled attack on his former employers. Now, the diary does not take sides, but we merely point out that De Frutos was sacked from the Phoenix Dance Company in 2008, a year after the arrival of one Ana Lujá* Sánchez. Clearly any connection between Sanchez and the title of his gruesome ballet must be entirely coincidental.

m.bell@independent.co.uk

React Now

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

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

Technical Sales Manager

£45000 - £53000 Per Annum plus bonus plus package: The Green Recruitment Compa...

Humanities Teacher

£110 - £135 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Outstan...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

A day to remember a different kind of conflict – ours with the natural world

Michael McCarthy
Perfect flat mates  

Flatsharing with strangers as an adult is doomed - with or without a 'contract'

Jessica Brown Jessica Brown
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor