Out of Tatton, true love

Share
Related Topics
Melissa - no, no, not Messenger you crudistas - Melissa Bell, daughter of Martin, the anti-sleaze victor over Neil Hamilton at the general election, is to marry. Naturally, her intended is a former Army officer. Major Peter Bracken, 37, and Melissa, 24, who until recently worked for Reuter's news agency in Brussels, are to wed next summer. The vicar will be Tristan Flak-Jacket, of St Mortar's, Tatton-in-the-Trenches, and dress will be formal white suits, tailored in Jermynski Street, Sarajevo.

Actually, that last bit was made up. But it is true that Peter Bracken is a "tall and debonair" fellow, who helped out with Bell's campaign in Cheshire in April. He has landed the woman voted "blonde of the year" by one of those obscure men's magazines that you hear about but never buy. In the week that we expect the full and frank report on the odious Mr Hamilton from Sir Gordon Downey, the parliamentary "sleazebuster", this is good news. Congratulations all round.

MICHAEL Ancram, the Tories' new Constitutional Supremo, is obviously a man after Creevey's heart. At 6.40am the other day, the telephone jangled by his ear. It was Alan Duncan, the diminutive but hyperactive media adviser to William Hague (known to his social worker as Child W). Was Ancram listening to the Today programme, barked Duncan. No, he most certainly was not. He was fast asleep, dreaming of Roxburghshire, or whichever Caledonian county he owns most of. Now go away, there's a good little chap, murmured the heir to Viscount Midlothian. At this rate, the Conservative "No" campaign in the Scottish devolution referendum is going to be a most agreeable affair, even if Bernard Jenkin (Colchester North, Swivel-Eyed Right-wing Tendency) is his sidekick.

Duncan himself is to be a glorified Parliamentary Political Secretary to Hague, a sort of Shadow Minister without Portfolio modelled on Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair's eminence grise. Well, he's got the limitless self- esteem. Now all he needs to do is stop rushing about with bits of paper, and intrigue at arm's length like the Peter Cushing of Whitehall. If they make a film of it, Princess Diana would be well advised not to take her children.

IN days of old, when mining MPs were thick as the leaves that strew'd the brooks of Vallombrosa (indeed, some were thicker), the Strangers Bar at Westminster was known as the Kremlin. But the new intake of Labour members has brought in so many social workers, it is becoming known as the Case Conference Suite. Multi-disciplinary, of course.

IF you are still in shock at seeing a Labour MP for Scarborough and Whitby and similar Tory strongholds, take heart. You are not alone. Derek Wyatt, the new member for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, Kent - 150th on Labour's election hit-list - has written to the other MPs who are wandering round Westminster still looking gobsmacked by their good fortune, asking if they would like to join a new parliamentary group. Name? The Unlikely Lads/Lasses 97.

And before the whips bear down on them like a ton of bricks for starting a party within a party, let it be known that Brother Wyatt has all but ruled out discussing politics. "We felt that though politics would no doubt be a factor in meetings, it would be met with an equal measure of humour and fun," he writes. Well, that's all right then. Except, as Glenda Jackson has ruled, Labour people are not here to enjoy themselves.

IF anybody believes that New Labour doesn't like political lobbyists, think again. Westminster Strategy's summer bash at Dean's Yard was heaving with MPs and ministers last week. And what a thirsty lot they are. The champagne ran out much earlier than usual. Perhaps they should have gone to the more discreet party thrown at Lancaster House by Clare Short, the International Development Minister, where the white wine was flowing. Practically a White Rhine. Ms Give'em The Money was heavily into her mediatory role, bringing together the two Conservative Parties. But why on earth she wants to entertain neanderthal Gerald Howarth (Aldershot, Quit Europe Party) and Quentin Davies (Stamford and Spalding, Federate Now! Party) is beyond imagination.

AND speaking of entertainment, Joe McCrea, special adviser to Frank "The Appetite" Dobson, can look forward to a good dinner at the expense of the privatised water industry fat cats. McCrea it was who masterminded Frank's highly successful campaign against leaking water pipes. However, he's now followed his master to the Department of Health. The Water Services Association is so relieved to see him go they've invited him out for a nosh.

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this multi-ac...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Specialist

£21000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an e...

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: personality is so much more important than policies

John Rentoul
Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, with her boyfriend, fellow vlogger Alfie Deyes  

If children are obese then blame food manufacturers, not Zoella

Jane Merrick
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat