Black Dog: Mogadon Man needs a tonic

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond’s Tory leadership manoeuvrings have not gone down well at No 10 – and nor have they impressed some colleagues.

Reflecting on Essex boy Hammond’s lack of Cameron-style silky sophistication, one backbencher sneered: ‘Philip Hammond is a good example of what happens when Mogadon Man walks into a Speak Your Weight Machine.’

Defence secretary Philip Hammond is said to be vying for party leadership

Defence secretary Philip Hammond is said to be vying for party leadership


Gay marriage opponent Sir Gerald Howarth is to complain to Manchester hospital chiefs after a nurse emailed him from work to attack his comment about the ‘aggressive homosexual community’.

She called the Tory a ‘sad, sexist, pathetic, homophobic, malcontented little twerp’. Indignant Howarth replied: ‘You have no right to send deeply offensive emails from an NHS address. I answer to my Aldershot constituents, not you.’


Poverty-pleading MPs – demanding a £10,000 pay rise because they ‘can’t live’ on £65,000 a year – won’t thank Tory John Penrose, who has applied to build an indoor pool at his palatial Grade II listed home in Somerset.

To make room for the pool, he will have to demolish his ‘stable block’, thus inconveniencing his racehorse-owning wife, Dido. A tough life.


Swivel-eyed loons take centre stage

Rewrite: The phrase 'swivel-eyed loons' has come to the attention of thespians

Rewrite: The phrase 'swivel-eyed loons' has come to the attention of thespians

David Cameron might have hoped the row over ‘swivel-eyed loons’ had gone away

But now it’s become a hit in the West End.

The script for The Audience, in which Helen Mirren, left, plays the Queen, has been rewritten for a scene where Mirren is listening to the actor playing the PM, who moans about how Tory Euro rebels hate him.

‘Ah, the swivel-eyed loons,’ Mirren’s Queen notes wryly.

‘No wonder they are all going over to Nigel Farage.’


In addition to trying to rescue the economy, George Osborne has taken fresh steps to rescue his family’s cat, Freya.

As reported here last week, frisky Freya roams all over Whitehall, including the  Red Lion pub.

Now a member of Osborne’s staff, equipped with a cage, is permanently on call to bring the meandering moggie back to Downing Street.


Nick's knickers tip

Flamboyant Planning Minister Nick Boles enlivened a debate on ‘saving the high street’ with this insight into his private life: ‘People can buy three pairs of knickers for a pound in Hoxton market.

I shall be taking up that offer soon, though for which purpose we will not describe now.’ Or ever, hopefully.


Flying back to the UK in a Greek-owned chartered plane after a recent trip, the PM quipped: ‘You can tell it’s a Greek plane.

Every time it takes off or lands, all the crockery gets smashed!’ In these politically correct times, what’s the betting he’ll be had up for Hellenophobia?


The claim by Brussels-baiting Tory MP David Davies that he is ‘proud  to be a fruitcake’ prompted American bakery giant Claxton to offer him a box of fruitcakes, and some T-shirts emblazoned with his quote.

Right-winger Davies is  such a fruitcake, he’ll probably wear one  in the Commons.