Corbyn's free aid from rail strikers' QC: Lawyer whose clients include the RMT Union gave Labour leader advice during second leadership election, writes ANDREW PIERCE 

The countless commuters whose lives have been made a misery by striking rail workers can add a new name to the hate-list of people they can blame — Jeremy Corbyn.

Not content with backing Southern Railway staff in their dispute (as all Old Labourites such as Comrade Corbyn would), the Labour leader is now linked with a well-heeled lawyer whose clients include the rail union RMT.

The Labour leader, above, was given legal advice from a barrister who has also advised the rail union RMT

For the latest register of MPs’ interests reveals that Corbyn has received a ‘benefit in kind’ from John Hendy QC.

The barrister is described rather immodestly on his chambers website as ‘terrific fighter’, an ‘authoritative silk’ and a ‘star performer’.

And it now turns out that he gave free legal advice to Corbyn in the summer during the Labour leadership election when his enemies tried to stop him putting his name forward automatically as the incumbent without having to get nominations.

With top QCs often charging fees at a rate of £1,000-plus an hour, Hendy clearly did Corbyn a big favour.

Indeed, he has a long history of working for the unions, having helped Arthur Scargill by acting for the miners’ union in all their civil cases during their strike in the Thatcher years.


Gloriously independent minded Baroness Boothroyd criticised those who don't turn up

Gloriously independent-minded former Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd, talking of the bloated House of Lords, commented that some new peers were ‘No 10 advisers sent here as lobby fodder’, and who she said rarely speak and thus ‘do us a disservice’.

I’m convinced she was referring to Baroness (Kate) Fall of Ladbroke Grove, one of David Cameron’s loyal Downing Street PR advisers and a former girlfriend of George Osborne. 

She has spoken only twice in the Lords since she being controversially ennobled last year.


Making mischief about the election of Donald Trump, Tory MP Nigel Adams has made a suggestion to Theresa May she’ll no doubt refuse: ‘I am not sure whether the Prime Minister is a fan of Green Day [a U.S. rock band], but I am sure that if she did go to a concert, she’d have the time of her life.’ He was clearly referring to one of the group’s songs — American Idiot — and Mrs May’s first meeting with the new President.


If as expected, former Labour high-flyer Andy Burnham is elected mayor of Manchester next May and steps down as an MP, his former Westminster comrades would face a tricky by-election in his Leigh constituency.

With Ukip making serious inroads into northern, working-class seats, the party’s new leader Paul Nuttall, a no-nonsense Liverpudlian, has got his eyes on the Greater Manchester constituency which has a 14,000 Labour majority.

Nuttall says: ‘I’m open to having a conversation about it and will give it serious consideration.’

Undoubtedly, he’s well aware of the fact that Leigh voted 64 per cent in favour of Brexit.


A bizarre coincidence has been noted over allegations of historic child sex abuse by former PM Edward Heath. A man accused of sexually abusing young footballers in his care at Chelsea FC in the Seventies was Eddie Heath. The New Statesman magazine said: ‘Did the police or one of their computers muddle the two?’ 


I’m not sure who comes out worst from this story — the Welsh people or the reputation of the EU.

Certainly, it’s embarrassing to both. Researchers at Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre carried out a survey of more than 3,000 voters in the Principality to test their political awareness. One question listed eight names and asked which, if any, were Welsh MEPs.

One of the top names chosen was ‘Elwyn Davies’. However, he doesn’t exist — it was a fictitious name. I wonder how many Welsh people think Neil Kinnock is Prime Minister!

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