Matthew Norman on Monday: Chips are down as spudlord takes aim at Cameron

Plus: Mitchell’s women round on Soubry; Eric turns on charm after Yeo no show; Liam recycles  a catchphrase; Sun twists the knife  in tormented Tulisa

Share
Related Topics

Everyone is wearily familiar with the stalking horse, but lovers of political novelty may now anticipate the first stalking potato. Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire and supplier of pre-washed spuds and other vegetables to the catering industry, seems poised to challenge David Cameron.

Likening his leader to a pilot with no idea how to land a plane, Bridgen told The Mail on Sunday readers that he has signed a “secret” letter calling for a no confidence vote and the PM will be petrified by the quality of this latest opponent.

A sworn foe of gay marriage, Bridgen is a ferocious campaigner for social justice in the one limited area of raising MPs’ pay.

Cameron haters seeking an encouraging omen will rejoice to note that Bridgen is the second MP to out himself as such a signatory, in succession to Patrick Mercer. We wish him luck with his bid to save the Tory 747 from a corkscrew spin, and look forward to this richly talented figure writing a Sun article headlined: “Tory Spudlord: Cameron’s Had His Chips!”

Mitchell’s women round on Soubry

With a summer reshuffle likely if the PM can hang on long enough, things look bleak for  the Public Health minister, Anna Soubry.

After she criticised women GPs for playing hooky for as banal a reason as motherhood, she was caught in a pincer movement between two female doctors.

One is Andrew Mitchell’s wife, Sharon, the other his daughter, Hannah. Each had a letter accusing Anna of sexism published in different papers on the same day. The ex-Chief Whip denies  co-ordinating the attack, and the plebgate form book cautions against doubting his word. If Anna is jettisoned,  Mr Mitchell’s special insight into the NHS would make him the perfect replacement.

Eric turns on charm after Yeo no show

Although a front-bench recall looks unlikely after the lobbying claims he denies, Tim Yeo will have been grateful for Eric Pickles’s warm support on Dermot Murnaghan’s Sky News show. 

“Well, he’s missing a treat,” said Eric, informed that Tim had pulled out of appearing at the last minute. “I’m sure you would have been very charming to him.” 

Fans of the droll Communities Secretary will rejoice to learn that Eric has been offered the part of a Sontaran, in accord with the show’s efforts to slash the make-up budget, in the first post-Matt Smith series of Dr Who.

Liam recycles  a catchphrase

Over on BBC1’s Marr show, meanwhile, the Simon Pegg doppelganger, Liam Byrne, popped up to underline the full significance of Labour repositioning on welfare. Liam was hopeless, though in his defence it cannot be easy going on telly with no answer to the obvious question of which benefits a Labour government will cut.

Not that his interview with Sophie Raworth was a total loss. It’s always exciting to be in on the birth – in this case, Liam having trialled it four years ago, technically a rebirth – of a brilliant catchphrase.

Liam’s “radical with power, realistic with money” is such a winner in the tough-on-crime mould that we hope to hear it from him again in 2017.

Sun twists the knife  in tormented Tulisa

So overjoyed is The Sun with its efforts to seemingly destroy the life of Tulisa, who was arrested last week after allegedly discussing a cocaine deal, that it lavished another two pages on an interview with her father, Plato, on Sunday.

Dwelling on the singer’s past history of anorexia, depression and teen suicide attempts, not to mention the mental health problems of her bipolar mother who was sectioned when Tulisa was five, the newspaper merrily reported she “has refused to  drink or eat much since the allegations appeared, and sits chain-smoking in her £6m Hertfordshire mansion – rocking back and forth”.

Coming so soon after the news of Stephen Fry, this tasteful celebration of the torment it has caused a fragile young woman’s does the paper only credit.

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas