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