Scottish Daily Mail

Ephraim Hardcastle

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FORMER Tory minister Brooks Newmark, who resigned after ‘sexting’ improper images of his lower half to a young woman, has composed a learned essay for the Conservati­ve Home website about a ‘nofly zone’ over Syria. A cynical source says it’s an attempt at rehabilita­tion, adding: ‘A “no-flies” zone is more his speciality.’ A harsh verdict.

BBC royal correspond­ent Nicholas Witchell, 63, is puzzled by colleague Jeremy Paxman’s ill-tempered descriptio­n of him, while promoting a memoir, as a ‘buttoned-up presenter who had written a book about the Loch Ness Monster’. Currently covering William and Kate’s tour of Canada, Witchell says: ‘I have the utmost profession­al regard for Jeremy, who I’ve known for the best part of 40 years and I hope his book is very successful.’ Might Witchell’s 1974 volume, The Loch Ness Story – still in print and regarded as a definitive study – enjoy higher regard than 66-year-old Paxman’s tome, A Life In Questions?

RACHEL (sister of Boris) Johnson says former Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls asked her if Botox might prevent his armpits from sweating while he gyrated on Strictly Come Dancing. ‘No,’ she replied, ‘if you block the armpits, it will only appear somewhere else!’ Formerly a Parliament­ary bruiser, might flighty Balls, 49, be offered a role in pantomime this Christmas?

NEW Labour peeress Baroness Chakrabart­i, 47, pictured, asked by Channel 4 News’s Michael Crick about her son sitting entrance exams for Eton, slyly avoids the question, remarking: ‘You’ve been on the internet too much of late.’ A campaigner for truth and transparen­cy, Shami is the former director of the human rights outfit Liberty.

JEREMY Corbyn says in a Radio 4 interview: ‘I don’t think Donald Trump and I have very much in common on anything.’ Actually, they’ve both had three wives. While Corbyn’s first wife, Jane Chapman, voted against him, the first Mrs Trump – Ivana – supports ‘The Donald’, saying he’ll be a ‘great president’.

MAKE-up artist Charlotte Tilbury launches a lipstick called The Queen, a cerise coloured cosmetic costing £23 a stick. It’s unlikely to curry favour with the monarch, however. Clarins has the royal warrant for supplying HM’s lipstick and other cosmetics, although our sovereign is always on the lookout for a bargain. During a stopover in Dubai, HM headed for the Clarins counter in duty free. A lady-in-waiting made the purchase – our head of state carries no money, passport or boarding card.

TORY MP Sir Nicholas Soames, 68, frets about girls wearing jeans with holes in the knees, tweeting philosophi­cally: ‘Rich girls spend thousands trying to look poor and less well-off girls spend a fortune trying to look rich.’ Wittgenste­in move over!

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