Pandora: Intrigue over Labour's 'mystery musician'

Alice-Azania Jarvis
Friday 29 May 2009 00:00 BST

And so, as inevitable as the lengthening evenings, we approach that special time of year – the highlight of the socialist social calendar – the Annual Labour Fundraising Dinner.

Indeed it would appear that the good Party are even more in need of funds than before: word is that their many donors have been considerably less forthcoming than is their usual way. Just in case, we're told that members are being flogged raffle tickets (a snip at £10) for the chance of winning one of five VIP spots at the big night ("buy as many as you like to improve your chances of winning!").

Of course, the real cause for excitement is this year's hotly anticipated "celebrity performer." But who could it be? Is anyone willing to put their name to the not-exactly-gleaming Labour brand?

So far, we're told they have secured only the support of one Eddie Izzard, whose appearance at Labour events is becoming so predictable as to be tedious. But! All is not lost. Party press officers insist that they have a "surprise singing performer" to compound Eddie's credentials. Who could it be? The usual cast of characters (Mick Hucknall, the Bee Gees, Heather Small) refuse to respond to Pandora's advances. Leona Lewis replies (her manager Simon is a good friend of the PM) but only to issue a denial. Will no one put their name to the Labour cause? For now, at least, the hunt continues.

Salmon swims into Storm

From the sound of things we'll be seeing a lot more of Zoe Salmon, the baby-faced former Blue Peter presenter, in the year ahead.

Salmon, who left the children's programme this time last year, tells Pandora that she recently signed to Storm Modelling Management, the home of Kate Moss and Carla Bruni amongst others.

"It's like a dream come true," enthused Salmon at the launch of Virgin Media's 'TV Take over' competition. "I used to look at them as the best when I was growing up."

Boris gives nosy neighbours a miss

Congratulations to Boris Johnson, who is to move into a new house in the chi-chi borough of Islington. Of course, it wasn't the first impressive property to appeal to the London mayor, who is believed to have examined addresses next door to Lord Falconer in Canonbury and down the road in Highbury Fields. Canonbury, we're told, proved a tad too pricey but goodness knows why the Mayor passed over Highbury. Oh, hold on: BBC probe Nick Robinson lives there. Perhaps Boris couldn't face a grilling from the neighbours?

Crisis control: What Katie did next...

Further to Wednesday's tale of Katie Price signing up with Paul McCartney's publicity supremo, the Outside Organisation's Alan Edwards, after joining forces with his divorce lawyer, Fiona Shackleton, we have further news of Ms Price's image overhaul. Indeed, we're told that in addition to approaching Outside, Katie (aka glamour model Jordan) had requested the services of Gary Farrow, one of the industry's most respected media handlers, to aid her in the wake of her divorce.

Although unavailable for comment, Farrow, whose previous clients have given him more than a little experience in crisis management (step forward Mr Ramsay), is thought to have turned down the request due to "prior commitments".

MP seeks assistant, expenses no object

Is Andrew Rosindell attempting to cut costs in the wake of revelations regarding his expenses?

The jellied eel-eating Tory, who is the Member for Romford, was pipped to the post by Harry Cohen as the most claim-happy London MP. Now he has posted an advertisement for a parliamentary assistant on the House of Commons website. Somewhat ungenerously, the position is unpaid. But never mind – the lucky candidate can still lodge expense claims.

'Telegraph' loses Commons vote

With its relentless tales of expense-fiddling , copies of The Daily Telegraph may be selling like hotcakes every where else, but it is hardly flavour of the month amongst most MPs. Which could explain why Pandora spotted a stack of untouched copies lying by the door of Portcullis house yesterday. By 5pm every other paper had been picked up (barring, that is, a lonely copy of the FT's Companies and Markets pages.) A case of head-in-the-sand strategy, perhaps?

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