Ephraim Hard­cas­tle

Scottish Daily Mail - - News -

NEWLY anointed Speaker Lind­say Hoyle’s first mis­sion is to tackle West­min­ster’s ro­dent prob­lem with his cats Den­nis and Pa­trick. His re­quest that they be ap­pointed par­lia­man­tery mousers was re­jected as they had no base. Now, as he is in­stalled in Speaker’s House, they can get to work. ‘Wher­ever I go, I see mice,’ he says. ‘I was walk­ing down the cor­ri­dor the other day and this mouse was walk­ing down with a little bit of a swag­ger, and off it went.’ With Den­nis and Pa­trick on duty, mice-swag­ger­ing will soon be over.

WIL­LIAM and Kate have drawn the short straw – at­tend­ing this month’s Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance. It was Charles and Camilla’s turn but they are over­seas, prompt­ing spec­u­la­tion that they, like the Queen, will aban­don this in­creas­ingly irk­some duty. It’s no use ask­ing Princess Anne to share the bur­den. She went to one per­for­mance and hasn’t graced the Royal Box since.

HAV­ING re­nounced new out­fits made from fur, the Queen will be wear­ing her er­mine­lined robe – made from the win­ter pelts of stoats – at the State Open­ing of Par­lia­ment next month. But it is not just more fur she has ve­toed. At 93, HM al­ready has suf­fi­cient coats, dresses and hats to, as one courtier put it, ‘see her through’.

COM­MON­WEALTH sec­re­tary-gen­eral Baroness Scotland, pic­tured, has been told by the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment to ‘cease and de­sist’ from invit­ing world lead­ers to a char­ity cricket event in Ade­laide next month. Lady Scotland, dubbed Baroness Brazen for her ex­trav­a­gant spend­ing, is­sued dozens of in­vi­ta­tions to Peace at the Crease with­out con­sult­ing the Australian­s, who baulk at the cost. She blames an ‘ad­min­is­tra­tive hic­cup’ but ex-col­league Kate Hoey says: ‘This is more ev­i­dence of her dic­ta­to­rial be­hav­iour in the top job.’

DAVID Dim­bleby’s ap­pear­ance on BBC Ra­dio 4’s To­day – fol­low­ing news he won’t front the cor­po­ra­tion’s elec­tion night cov­er­age – is blighted by pre­sen­ter Nick Robin­son’s squeak: ‘So good to hear about your early re­tire­ment!’ Dimbo, 81, barks: ‘It’s not early re­tire­ment. I’ve never said I was re­tir­ing, Nick. You may wish I had, but I never said that.’ Touchy!

TOO-big-for-her-bootees Kay Bur­ley’s rant against Tory chair­man James Clev­erly for fail­ing to ap­pear on her Sky show yes­ter­day prompts Down­ing Street to con­sider a com­plaint to Ofcom. A fu­ri­ous Kay burst into the Mill­bank stu­dio where star­tled Clev­erly was do­ing a sched­uled in­ter­view with TalkRa­dio’s Ju­lia Hart­ley-Brewer. Says my man cow­er­ing be­hind the au­tocue: ‘Kay was shout­ing. Star­tled James was try­ing to ex­plain he hadn’t been booked by Kay in the first place.’

KENNETH Rose’s dis­clo­sure that the Queen at­tended an ex­or­cism of the late Princess Diana at San­dring­ham high­lights the roy­als’ ghostly en­coun­ters. Charles ex­pe­ri­enced a San­dring­ham pol­ter­geist who threw books off shelves. Have Wil­liam and Kate en­coun­tered Ge­orge II, who haunts the Kens­ing­ton Palace loo where he popped his clogs in 1760? Email: john.mcen­[email protected]­ly­mail.co.uk

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