Muslim Council of Britain leader to get life peerage

Gordon Brown will offer a life peerage to the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Muhammad Abdul Bari - even though government links with the organisation are officially suspended.

The news comes from an unexpected quarter - the Jewish Chronicle, which explains that ministers are keen to find a prominent Muslim to enter the House of Lords as a way of balancing the peerage given to Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks earlier this year.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari

Gordon Brown wants to offer a life peerage to Muhammad Abdul Bari (left) to 'balance' the peerage given to Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks

Business Secretary Peter Mandelson's spokesman puts out a statement saying he'd never take part in a pheasant shoot.

Yet his lordship was a guest at the Rothschilds' Buckinghamshire mansion while one was in progress.

Is he guilty of bad manners? Perhaps he doesn't disapprove of pheasant shooters if they are very rich.

Diana Quick one of five actresses who play the Queen in a forthcoming Channel 4 series, says she met the monarch while at Oxford 40 years ago - during the time of the student riots in Paris - and was rebuked by a courtier afterwards.

Diana Quick

Diana Quick is one of five actresses to play the Queen in a new Channel 4 series

Miss Quick recalls: 'She asked what (the students) were making such a fuss about. So, with all the lack of prudence of a 19-year-old, I said, "Don't you know, ma'am?" and proceeded to tell her what it was all about. A few minutes later, one of her aides took me aside and said, "I have to inform you that it is not the correct protocol to lead the Queen in conversation".'

City minister Lord Myners is particularly vocal about bankers earning more than £1million being revealed publicly.

'Every time he goes to a meeting with bankers, he begins the proceedings by telling them forcibly that the average pay in Britain is just £23,000 a year and that they should never forget that,' a source tells me.

Not that Myners is against being rich. He made an estimated £30million running the Gartmore investment fund.

The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger, who is wrestling with big financial problems at his paper, has had a misunderstanding with the Garrick Club over his annual membership fee, which is more than £1,000.

They said he was in arrears.

He said a cheque was in the post - two cheques, in fact, after they claimed the first one had not arrived.

The matter was due to be discussed at a committee meeting but a Rusbridger cheque has now arrived.

However, a member says: 'Alan's not out of the woods yet. He may find his credit at the bar has been withdrawn.'

The BBC is seeking submissions for its annual Muslim Writers Awards, calling for 'creative, interesting, and exciting submissions from writers across the country'.

All entrants must be Muslim. Do broadcasters in Pakistan - or any other Muslim nation - have a Christian writers award?

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now