Londoner’s Diary: Zarah Sultana raises the roof as new darling of the Left

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Labour MP for Coventry South Zarah Sultana   (Getty Images)
Labour MP for Coventry South Zarah Sultana (Getty Images)

Welcome back to the Londoner’s Diary. First up Zarah Sultana appears to have been anointed as the next great hope of the Labour Left. We’ve learned about Noel Fielding’s moment of heroism at a Strokes concert. In SW1A Andy Burnham has a cool response to suggestions that he’s had a good Labour conference and naughty Keir Starmer has been caught out after offering a video apology for why he couldn’t make a fringe event.

Lila’s date at happy Dazed celebration

15:30 , Robbie Smith

Lila Moss and Stella Jones (Dave Benett)
Lila Moss and Stella Jones (Dave Benett)

LILA Moss, the daughter of supermodel Kate, last night joined singer Jess Glynne and models Stella Jones and Josephine Jones to celebrate 30 years of Dazed at 180 House in Soho. Over at Fortnum and Mason, Dame Helena Morrissey attended a Lady Garden Foundation lunch. And at a 15th anniversary performance of Wicked at in Victoria, director Michael McCabe said: “If for two hours and 44 minutes you’ve managed to not think about where you’re going to get petrol tomorrow, then we have done our jobs.” Fuelling escapism.

Mighty boost for Noel’s standing

14:30 , Robbie Smith

Noel Fielding (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Noel Fielding (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

NOEL FIELDING is already an actor, artist, comedian, musician, Bake Off presenter and now, it seems, a life-saver. During a Strokes gig at Camden’s Roundhouse in February last year, Fielding was praised as a hero after a member of the crowd ended up in a rather perilous position, dangling above about a five-metre drop from a balcony. The fan had tried to jump closer to the band and off the balcony because he was enjoying the show so much. We hear The Mighty Boosh star spotted the incident, put down his pint, ran over and helped to pull the man to safety. Talk about a stroke of good fortune.

Rayner shows she still has time to ink

13:30 , Robbie Smith

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner’s rose tattoo (Getty Images)
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner’s rose tattoo (Getty Images)

ANGELA Rayner’s tattoo collection is growing. There’s the rose on her leg, inset, which she explained to The Londoner last night: “It’s for my party, my country and my nana.” Labour’s deputy leader also showed off the rest of her ensemble, which includes a red Celtic love knot on her right wrist, a bee on her right shoulder and an elegant geometric design on the back of her neck. While the others have symbolic meaning, Rayner joked to The Londoner that the dark tattoo on the back of her neck “enhances the natural ginger”.

Hom promotes a taste of home

13:02 , Robbie Smith

Ken Hom (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Ken Hom (Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Chinese cooking supremo Ken Hom is helping promote British food in other markets — he has a meeting with the Cabinet Office and Shanghai in his role as ambassador. He tells us British grub is “great”, despite its international reputation, citing Tyrell crisps, Maldon Sea Salt and salmon. Hom, 72, who estimates that one in four households owns one of his woks, says he’s glad restaurants are coming back, but that “I’m at a certain age where I like to be home and have a Deliveroo”. He’s not the only one.

SW1A

11:30 , Robbie Smith

ANDY Burnham has had a good Labour conference. The Greater Manchester mayor has cut a distinctive figure and done no harm at all to his prospects of being the next Labour leader. When we bumped into him last night, we put it to him that he was having a good conference. Burnham replied coolly: “I don’t do things by halves.”

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NAUGHTY Keir Starmer. The Labour leader appeared via video at yesterday’s Labour Friends of Israel reception and explained his absence: “As I hope and I’m sure you’ll understand, I’m currently busy preparing for my speech tomorrow.” But a few minutes before the video played, Sir Keir was at the Mirror party in person and gave a brief speech. Cheeky.

10:59 , Robbie Smith

ZARAH Sultana appears to have been anointed as the next great hope of the Labour Left after an ecstatic crowd acclaimed her at rally last night in Brighton with chants of her name to the tune of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn”.

Sultana featured in the prize spot in fellow MP Lloyd Russell Moyle’s list of the “plethora of amazing women” who could be the next Labour leader. “Wait for it, it’s being built up,” he told the crowd as they started cheering for Sultana. When he did arrive at her name as his final suggestion full-throated attendees broke into spontaneous chants of her name. As Sultana approached the microphone later to deliver her speech, the chanting appeared to leave her briefly taken aback.

The Coventry South MP, who was only elected in 2019, was speaking at the Socialist Campaign Group rally — the grouping of far-Left MPs which includes Jeremy Corbyn — held at alternative festival The World Transformed.

A Labour source tells us this morning they were unsure about of a Left wing “standard bearer” but added she was “the closest thing this country has to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in her charisma and her particularly ballsy style”. How high can her star rise?

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