Londoner's Diary: Denis MacShane takes a beating while being a hero

Denis MacShane plays the hero: Getty

DON’T mess with Denis MacShane! The former Labour MP, author and Good Samaritan is in Brussels, and says that he stepped in to help a man in a street attack yesterday, only to get a beating himself.

“Outside European Parliament thugs from People’s Mujahedin of Iran violently attacking elderly man, hitting with sticks, kicks etc,” he tweeted yesterday. “I told them to stop it, so they started attacking me with sticks, fists etc. And we weren’t even discussing Brexit!”

MacShane, pictured, a former minister for Europe, has been spending a fair amount of time in Brussels, observing and commenting on the Brexit negotiations — he claims to be the man who coined the B-word in the first place, and has written two books on the subject.

So is he OK? The Londoner inquired. “Fine,” MacShane replied. “Just [a] weird flash attack by nutters. No cops in sight. I tried to stop it — wading in pompously, shouting out loud — but all that happened was they attacked me.”

The European Parliament, in the Leopold Quarter in Brussels, should in theory be well policed, or at least have some security guards keeping an eye on things. The People’s Mujahedin of Iran is a political organisation which is calling for the overthrow of the Iranian regime.

MacShane is carrying on with his daily business, even if he was a little surprised that his pompous wading had little effect on the outcome. “At least I gave the first victim a chance to run away,” he said. “Don’t think I have been attacked by Mujahedin before!”


THE Rosewood Hotel hosted the Winq Magazine Men of the Year Awards yesterday, recognising the achievements of gay men. Writer Patrick Gale won the Culture Award and announced that his recent project — acclaimed BBC drama The Man in the Orange Shirt — is to become the first gay drama to air on US public broadcaster PBS.

But it came at a price. “I’ve had to agree to 55 cuts,” Gale shrugged. “Because viewers in Utah can’t handle bare buttocks, or the sound of a man urinating.” Prudes.

Mayer breaks silence over Time law suit

THIS week, Time magazine revealed its Person of the Year to be The Silence Breakers — the women and men who revealed their stories of sexual harassment via the #MeToo movement.

Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, was pleased to see that her lawyer Ann Olivarius represented two of the women, Jessica Cantlon and Celeste Kidd, who are on the list. Olivarius is representing Mayer in her lawsuit against Time for sex and age discrimination after she was fired by the magazine in 2015.

“I am proud to represent @CatherineMayer,” Olivarius tweeted after the cover was revealed. “Wherever we encounter discrimination we must, and will, fight it, without fear or favour.”

Quote of the Day

Dame Judi Dench loves trees ((Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF))

"My life now is just trees. Trees and champagne"

Dame Judi Dench, who says she plants a tree in her garden ever time a friend dies, has perfect priorities.

Politicos turn out for Tim

MPs and journalists turned out in force last night for the Policy Exchange launch of Fall Out, the new book by Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman.

Guests were treated to a range of snappily titled themed cocktails, such as the Brexit Mutineer, Schnapps Election and the Jacob Rees-Moggtail, which was, aptly, non-alcoholic. “If you look inside the menus you will see there are instructions on how to drink responsibly,” Shipman said. “You’ve got to admire the futility of the gesture.”

Guests included former minister Nicky Morgan and journalist Rachel Johnson, pictured with Shipman, who was direct in her praise. “Shippers has turned out to be the premier chronicler of Brexshit,” she said. “Let’s not mince our words.” Shipman certainly didn’t as he started with a welcome. “Ladies, gentlemen, journalists,” he said. “I’m going down the evolutionary tree now; Brexit mutineers, Cabinet ministers under investigation, and public relations professionals.”

Finally he rounded up the last of the no-shows: “David Davis can’t be with us because he’s pulling an all-nighter writing 58 impact assessments.”

Pixie and sis keep up the party standards

Fashion designer Stella McCartney hosted a Christmas party at her shop in Mayfair last night. Canadian model Winnie Harlow showed how to pull off boiler-suit chic, while grime artist Stormzy hung out with fellow musician Professor Green.

Singer and actress Pixie Lott showed up to the party with her dopplegänger sister, Charlie-Ann, but the mischievous duo ended the night at Mews of Mayfair restaurant for the Evening Standard’s Christmas party, where they found model and activist Munroe Bergdorf and socialite Henry Conway — they sure know how to party!


WHEN Maria Balshaw became director of the Tate, she had big shoes to fill: her predecessor Nicholas Serota had been close with most of the major artists in the country. How to keep up? With a cuppa, of course! She invited every living artist in the Tate collection for afternoon tea. “I thought, ‘How can I possibly meet that many without it taking me years and years?’” she tells this month’s Vogue. She has now met everyone from Paula Rego to Eddie Peake. “I like leaf,” she adds.

ROLE of the day: the Duke of Cambridge has revealed that Prince George was a sheep in his school nativity play. He’ll be a king one day, though.

Tweet of the Day

Actor Toby Stephens is starring in an acclaimed play about the historic Oslo Peace Accords.

Bonding session for Idris and Hugh

HUGH Jackman, right, was at Claridge’s yesterday as Atelier Swarovski hosted an event celebrating its work on his new film The Greatest Showman. And who should he bump into in the foyer but Idris Elba? This week Jackman said that he turned down the role of James Bond. Elba has long been tipped to play 007. Is there room for two?