Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

How Blairites Plan to Punish Clare, Inverness Asks after Leo, and Tessa's Seductive Ways

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

How Blairites Plan to Punish Clare, Inverness Asks after Leo, and Tessa's Seductive Ways

Article excerpt

All the possible punishments for Clare Short's espionage onslaught on Tony Blair--from expulsion from the Labour Party to withdrawal of her Privy Council status--have been reluctantly abandoned. Except one. Blair loyalists are saying that Short appeared on two TV programmes but did not declare a financial gain in the latest Register of Members' Interests. The former international development secretary stood in for Diane Abbott on Andrew Neil's This Week show, as did Ann Widdecombe, who declared an income of "up to [pounds sterling]5,000". Short also featured in a real-life TV programme as a schoolteacher. Peter Kilfoyle was paid "up to [pounds sterling]5,000" for another episode of the same show. "Maybe 'Mother Teresa' didn't get paid--or may be the rules don't apply to her," observed one junior member of the government waspishly.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Meanwhile, those who claim to know about these things insist that Short once locked herself out of her hotel room, somewhat deshabillee. Lunch for the first snout with the full story.

The Big Conversation at Labour's conference in Inverness did not go entirely as planned. Miked up for the TV cameras and anxious to be filmed speaking on the agenda issue of antisocial behaviour, Tony Blair homed in on a table of lady veterans. They were discussing toffee apples, but asked after little Leo. "And how's he doing?" inquired one. "Is he walking?"

"As you know," ploughed on the Great Helmsman, "we take antisocial behaviour very seriously .. …

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