Never one to shy away from controversy, Ken Livingstone is set to give his former Labour colleagues an unwanted ear-bashing.
Uncharacteristically, the ex-London Mayor has endured a low profile over recent months — ever since being suspended by Labour ‘for bringing the party into disrepute’ after MPs accused him of anti-Semitism and making offensive comments about Hitler supporting Zionism.
This week, however, he brings his case to a disciplinary panel in the hope of being readmitted to the party he joined when he was a teenager.
Never one to shy away from controversy, Ken Livingstone is set to give his former Labour colleagues an unwanted ear-bashing
His lawyer will be the flamboyant Michael Mansfield QC, who is best-known for representing Harrods’ then boss Mohamed Fayed at Princess Diana’s inquest, helping to overturn the convictions of the Birmingham Six and working for the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
Joke of the week
After the Government’s U-turn on increasing NI contributions for the self-employed (which broke a manifesto promise), this 2015 document has been moved to the fiction section in the Commons library.
Although nicknamed Mr Moneybags for his high hourly rates, the barrister has done much pro bono work (cases taken on for free) and is not charging Livingstone — a long-time friend.
I’m told Mansfield will demand that the two-day hearing should be conducted in public. Despite being committed to transparency and openness, this won’t go down well with Labour bosses who fear the case will air basketfuls of the party’s dirty washing.
The all round good sport!
Although Philip Hammond didn’t enjoy last week after his humiliating Budget U-turn, his Tory colleague Nicholas Soames was in exceptionally high spirits.
He told friends he relished ‘putting Their Lordships back in their basket’ over their failed Brexit challenge, and was excited about the horse racing at the Cheltenham Festival and the Ireland v England rugby match.
The only hiccup for the bon viveur MP was Cheltenham’s new alcohol limit which stops anyone buying more than four alcoholic drinks at a time. ‘So dull,’ said Churchill’s grandson.
More proof that Labour’s troubles are like a soap opera. Tracy Brabin, one of its Yorkshire MPs who was a Coronation Street actress, will question former EastEnders and Corrie star Michelle Collins in Parliament on Wednesday in an inquiry into ‘access to careers in the performing arts’.
It should get more attention than Jeremy Corbyn floundering during Prime Minister’s Questions.
Lord (John) Prescott tweets about the former Tory Chancellor’s controversial new job as editor of the London Evening Standard: ‘I had two Jags. George Osborne has got six jobs.’
A former reporter on BBC2’s Newnight is putting on a play about global revolutions called Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere.
The work by Paul Mason (who’s so far to the Left that he wants Jeremy Corbyn replaced by an authentic Socialist leader) is one of a series of programmes for BBC Arts and is being produced in partnership with Arts Council England. I wonder: would the BBC ever commission a pro-Brexit play?
Mandy's doomed Corbyn coup
Going one better than some Labour MPs who are talking of a ‘soft coup’ to replace Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, Lord Mandelson is engaged in a full-scale ‘hard coup’ attempt.
Going one better than some Labour MPs who are talking of a ‘soft coup’ to replace Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, Lord Mandelson is engaged in a full-scale ‘hard coup’ attempt
‘I work every single day, in some small way, to try to forward the end of his tenure in office,’ he told the Jewish Chronicle.
But doesn’t Mandy realise his efforts will backfire because one of the key reasons Corbyn was elected was because he symbolised a rejection of the smug and mendacious Blair era?