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Coming soon: a Tory showdown over GB News?

Penny Mordaunt (PA)
Penny Mordaunt (PA)

The Tories are looking set to have an internal battle over GB News. Yesterday deputy chairman Lee Anderson joined Jacob Rees-Mogg as one of five Conservative MPs to get a show on the channel. But we hear that some in the party are hoping for better scrutiny of some of its content. Two days ago Ofcom found that GB News breached impartiality rules by drawing misleading conclusions about the Covid-19 booster. And last week, Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt made a biting speech on the “alarmist nonsense” on GB News, saying it is “sandwiched” between credible content. She quoted a recent monologue by presenter Neil Oliver, which falsely alleged a government conspiracy over food shortages, and wrongly implied air-raids in Ukraine are fake, calling them “sound effects”. Could there be a crackdown on some of the wilder elements on the channel soon?

Prime Minister named Britain’s most influential Asian

Rishi Sunak (Sky News)
Rishi Sunak (Sky News)

Rishi Sunak topped a list of Britain’s most influential Asians at the GG2 Leadership & Diversity Awards at the Park Plaza hotel in Westminster last night. Mayor Sadiq Khan was second and Home Secretary Suella Braverman number three.“My parents wanted me to become a doctor,” the PM said in a video message. “I hope I have made them proud by winning this award”. Energy Secretary Grant Shapps picked up Sunak’s gong, joking: “this is the closest I will ever get to being prime minister”. At least some of our leaders are self-aware.

Nick’s living a bug’s life

Nicholas Hoult (Getty Images)
Nicholas Hoult (Getty Images)

Actor Nicholas Hoult has revealed how he had to eat crickets for his new film Renfield, in which he plays Dracula’s assistant. “The crickets came in different flavours. Some of them were barbecue, some were salt and vinegar,” Hoult said. “Once you get over the idea of what it is you’re eating, they weren’t that bad. And I ate a lot.” Don’t feel too icky: with vegetable shortages, we might all be joining him soon.

Disappearing WhatsApps in Westminster

After Matt Hancock had his WhatsApps leaked by journalist Isabel Oakeshott, some are taking steps to make sure it can’t happen to them. The Londoner notices that more than one politician now has their messages on a default timer, so they automatically delete after a few days. If Government is now done by WhatsApp, could it mean there will be less record of big policy decisions?

The warmest of welcomes

Londoner’s diary 8th March 23

Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party: Leomie Anderson attends the Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party at Westfield London on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party: Leomie Anderson attends the Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party at Westfield London on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party: Bimini Bon Boulash attends the Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party at Westfield London on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party: Bimini Bon Boulash attends the Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party at Westfield London on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party: Siobhán Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan of Sugababes attend the Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party at Westfield London on March 7, 2023 in London, England.  Photo Credit: Dave Benett (Dave Benett)
Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party: Siobhán Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan of Sugababes attend the Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party at Westfield London on March 7, 2023 in London, England. Photo Credit: Dave Benett (Dave Benett)
Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party: Nikkita Chadha attends the Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party at Westfield London on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party: Nikkita Chadha attends the Sephora UK Store VIP Launch Party at Westfield London on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala 2023: Heather Greenwood and David Harewood attend the National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala at The Londoner Hotel on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala 2023: Heather Greenwood and David Harewood attend the National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala at The Londoner Hotel on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala 2023: Ashley Jensen attends the National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala at The Londoner Hotel on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala 2023: Ashley Jensen attends the National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala at The Londoner Hotel on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala 2023: Geri Horner aka Ginger Spice attends the National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala at The Londoner Hotel on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)
National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala 2023: Geri Horner aka Ginger Spice attends the National Youth Theatre Annual Fundraising Gala at The Londoner Hotel on March 7, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)

Drag Race star Bimini Bon Boulash and model Leomie Anderson wrapped up warm in preparation for today’s snow at the launch for beauty brand Sephora’s new shop at the Westfield shopping centre last night. Band the Sugababes sang to a lucky crowd, and actor Nikkita Chadha went too. Across town at The Londoner Hotel, actors David Harewood and Ashley Jensen, producer Heather Greenwood and ex-Spice Girl Geri Horner went to a fundraising gala for the National Youth Theatre. The drama charity held a silent auction of over 120 items, including luxury holidays.