The Londoner: Nish Kumar and co's call to youth vote

Young people from across the Brexit divide are uniting this morning to launch the first youth-led voter registration campaign, to mobilise turnout in the forthcoming European elections in the likelihood the UK will take part. The registration drive has attracted celebrity support from figures including Gary Lineker, James O’Brien, Nish Kumar, Konnie Huq, and Gabby Logan.

The campaign, called “Vote For Your Future”, has been launched by young people from across the political spectrum, including the co-founders of Our Future, Our Choice, a youth wing of the People’s Vote campaign, and Shakira Martin, president of the National Union of Students, as well as prominent Brexit campaigner Ellie Varley and Dover councillor Callum Warriner.

The campaign’s clarion call is: “Every election is determined by the people who show up”.

“A third of young people in this country are not registered to vote — and there are 20 days until the European elections,” says comedian Nish Kumar, urging young fans to “get registered, get voting.”

The comedian has previously condemned the leaders of Brexit for having “fled the scene”, saying on Question Time last year: “Nigel Farage is a moron, Jacob Rees-Mogg is the ghost of a Charles Dickens villain, and Boris Johnson has abdicated responsibility in favour of squatting down and curling out a weekly column.” He concluded: “We are trapped in hell.”

Most of the campaign’s celebrity supporters back a second referendum, including vocal Remainer Gary Lineker and Huq, the former Blue Peter presenter and sister of Labour MP Rupa Huq.

Vote For Your Future insists, however, that it represents “all sides of the Brexit debate”, and argues that “it is simply to the benefit of democracy to support efforts to get young people onto the Electoral Register.” It is estimated that three-quarters of newly eligible voters would back Remain in a second poll.

Polish and spit

Polish your smartest shoes: the Government is advertising for butler roles in the Foreign Office again. The successful candidate, the notice reads, must work across a wide scale — “from the Commonwealth Summit 2018 to a discreet breakfast for ten”.

Though better still than the opportunity to eavesdrop on discreet breakfasts is the chance to steward the FCO’s £3million-valued wine cellar and stocks. Happily, this will involve “tasting for quality purposes”. Hopeful freebooters be warned, however — the job will also include “accounting for the stock used after service”.


Julian Assange on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11 (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Julian Assange has a habit of displaying books relevant to his situation. When he was arrested last week, he was clutching Gore Vidal’s The History of the National Security State. The Londoner recalls that years earlier, journalists visiting him in the Ecuadorian Embassy spotted he had The Whitehall Mandarin by Edward Wilson, which is “set in a world of political and sexual ambiguity”.


STRANGE anonymous notes have started appearing in BBC offices. “To the thieving pig,” begins one, “who stole a large pack of Norwegian smoked salmon from this fridge,” while another “important notice” reads: “Please ensure items of clothing are not placed in this staircase.”

Woolf that turned up in the tomatoes

The Second Shelf, the Soho bookshop specialising in rare works by female writers, has come into possession of a first edition of Virginia Woolf’s first novel The Voyage Out. The copy, which was owned and signed by Woolf’s sister, Vanessa Bell, was discovered in a tomato box in France. A N Devers, owner of the Second Shelf, points out that the family “summered in the South of France. Virginia said about Cassis [a town in the Riviera]: ‘Nobody shall say of me that I have not known perfect happiness.’”


Stella Creasy (below) has renewed her criticism of the Government over abortion laws in Northern Ireland following a statement from minister Harriett Baldwin on Monday. Baldwin said the UK “leads the world in our long-term support for comprehensive reproductive health and rights”. Labour MP Creasy countered that ministers “boasting they are protecting abortion rights around the world because it’s about safety, seems blind to the fact that this is an admission that they put women in Northern Ireland at risk by refusing to ensure the same rights as in the UK”.

Abortion rights campaigner: Stella Creasy MP (Ollie Millington/Getty Images)


FORMER Labour MP George Galloway has announced he will support Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party if the UK takes part in the European elections. Association with such a toxic individual could be electoral poison. Can Farage recover?


Liam Fox is to be granted the Freedom of the City of London, allowing him the right to drive sheep over London Bridge.

Luke’s egg hatches a Fucina celebration

She's cracked it: Martha Ward (Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Easter came early at Fucina in Marylebone last night, where voguish illustrator Luke Edward Hall held a VIP dinner to unveil an Easter egg he has designed. Guests included poetry power couple Greta Bellamacina and Robert Montgomery, stylist Martha Ward, and Hall’s boyfriend, the designer Duncan Campbell.

Meanwhile, at Clarendon Fine Art gallery in Mayfair, Stephen Mangan and Joan Bakewell attended the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. And at Ralph Lauren’s flagship store on Bond Street, the all-American brand threw a party with Project Zero, a charity that is committed to saving the oceans. Project Zero was founded by the raffish Tyrone Wood, son of Ronnie, who was unveiling a special Ralph Lauren polo shirt made entirely from recycled plastic. His friend Lady Mary Charteris turned out in support.

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‘A public health risk’

US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has quit Facebook, blaming it for “increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism”