Londoner’s Diary: Miller: No-one came for our party… but at least we were following rules

·2-min read
Gina Miller (PA)
Gina Miller (PA)

GINA MILLER says the ridicule over the poorly attended launch of her political party True & Fair is hypocritical.

“On one hand, everyone is rightly pillorying Johnson for breaking the rules with his pally parties, while pillorying us for observing guidance by having a predominantly virtual/remote event with the launch of our political party,” Miller tells us.

Yesterday the lawyer and campaigner launched True & Fair in Westminster as part of a drive to clean up politics. But pictures of empty chairs caused mirth online, while only about 13 people attended in person.

Miller says she is unbothered by “hostile voices online and in the media” and explains the in-person launch: “The fact is the room, set, venue and technicians were booked and were non-refundable, so we made the most of that.”

She adds she’s not only hoping to steal the hearts of disillusioned voters, she wants disillusioned MPs onside too, saying she would love to offer them “a political home”. Has there ever been a better time for political parties than right now?

Callow didn’t cut it for Poldark’s scythe

Simon Callow (Getty Images)
Simon Callow (Getty Images)

ACTOR Simon Callow has revealed one of the darkest moments in his career. “They chose Aidan Turner over me for Poldark. I never understood that. I really want to stop feeling bitter over Aidan getting that part,” he joked to The Londoner at the opening of Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia last night at the Royal Albert Hall. But the Four Weddings and a Funeral star is trying to look forward: “I seem to like to think I would be offered a rom-com… with a more mature narrative.” Casting agents, on your marks.

‘Tell more stories of people of colour’

Naomi Ackie (Dave Benett)
Naomi Ackie (Dave Benett)

NAOMI ACKIE has admitted she’s worried about a possible backlash for being the latest Brit to play a black American on screen. Ackie stars as Whitney Houston in an upcoming biopic. But she told a Central School of Speech and Drama event last night: “This is a symptom of a bigger problem… there are a plethora of stories from people who aren’t from America but they aren’t being told and there are not enough parts for black people and people of colour in general.”

SW1A

JONATHAN POWELL, who worked in No 10 for 10 years as Tony Blair’s chief of staff, despairs: “We didn’t have as many staff parties in a decade as they appear to have had in a few months.” Powell added online, of the current Downing Street operation: “When on earth did they find time to do any work?” While they waited for the next round, duh.

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LORD BENYON, a Defra minister and former Tory MP, is looking on the bright side of the warnings about improper Chinese influence on British politics, writing online: “I find it quietly comforting that Chinese intelligence services think that the way to influence what happens in UK is to infiltrate Barry Gardiner’s office.

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