Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Insider Paul Routledge: Mr Madonna Wants Safe Seat, Caborn's Disgrace, and a Revolting MP in Tears

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Insider Paul Routledge: Mr Madonna Wants Safe Seat, Caborn's Disgrace, and a Revolting MP in Tears

Article excerpt

And Labour thinks that has trouble with reselection! Sir Peter Tapsell, the booming-voiced Tory MP for Louth and Horncastle, is very cross about impertinent suggestions that he should give up, now he is 73. He wants to stand again, notwithstanding some young whippersnappers in his constituency who take the opposite view. Tapsell may become a test case for the independence of Conservative associations.

Meanwhile, in Kensington and Chelsea, where Michael Portillo sashayed out of politics, Philip Oppenheim, the former minister who now runs an ersatz Cuban restaurant, and Sir Malcolm Rifkind, one of nature's losers, are among those who fancy the safe seat. But amazingly, I hear that Guy Ritchie, husband of Madonna, also fancies it. Ms Madonna, said to be a female vocalist, is "resident" here, but more to the point, Ritchie's mum is a former chairman of the constituency association. Ken & Chel loves a highprofile MP. That's why it rehabilitated Alan Clark, before launching Portillo or his media career.

Offcuts from That Visit. No 10 has appointed an official photographer, another idea purloined from the Americans. The in-house snapper was given the exclusive rights to shoot Cherie Blair and Laura Bush flush in Downing Street as they were entertained by schoolchildren reciting Shakespeare.

When the armoured caravan moved on to Sedgefield for fish 'n'chips at the Dun Cow, it was reported that management had put in a new kitchen. Not so. In fact, the US invasion halted work on new catering equipment, so the presidential party had to gulp down food that one restaurant critic likened to what you'd get in a greasy-spoon cafe. …

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