With this election beset by allegations of lies and deceit, The Londoner is checking in on the rogues’ gallery of candidates running for election despite widespread condemnation. In Birmingham Hall Green, former Labour MP Roger Godsiff is running as an independent after he was dropped by the party for supporting protests against LGBT-inclusive education outside schools in Birmingham.
“I will continue to try and fight your corner because you’re right,” he told protesters outside Anderton Park Primary School. He blamed his expulsion on the “intolerant militant activist segment within the LGBT network”. Nice guy.
Needing no introduction is Chris Williamson, the former Labour MP for Derby North, suspended for saying Labour had been “too apologetic” on anti-Semitism.
Anti-racism charity HOPE not hate has actively campaigned against him, telling us: “Chris Williamson’s pattern of behaviour makes him unfit for office.
“He repeatedly shared platforms with people expelled for anti-Semitism, defended Labour members who voiced anti-Semitic positions and even used anti-Semitic tropes in his resignation letter.
“We launched a simple video appeal with Tessa Milligan, a young member of the Jewish Labour Movement, who made one of the original complaints against Williamson… we are confident he will be decisively rejected at the ballot box today.”
A word for Andrew Griffiths, a former government whip, who stepped down as the Conservative candidate for Burton after he bombarded two women with sexual text messages. Griffiths was replaced on the ballot paper… by his wife, Kate. Their divorce is currently being finalised. The ultimate revenge.
And finally north of the border, Neale Hanvey, dropped by the SNP for anti-Semitic remarks, is fighting for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath as an independent. SNP members were urged not to support Hanvey, who is still using SNP colours. So there we have it. A cross-party collection of rotters.
Advance to Brexit before it passes Go
While you’re waiting for Brexit to “get done”, try The Brexit Card Game. There are two ways to play: as Top Trumps or as a Monopoly-style epic, with action and event cards such as “Brexit Means Brexit” and “Hustings”.
Game inventor Patch Fordham told The Londoner: “I have sent five copies to Downing Street, one for the past five weeks.
“But I don’t know if they’ve played it. I hear that Jacob Rees-Mogg has bought three.”
If anything can bring people together at Christmas...
While Tory Remainers plotted in Parliament this year, one arch Europhile was left out. “Most of these groups were so sworn to secrecy that they communicated with each other on WhatsApp,” says Ken Clarke in the New Statesman. “They’d forgot to tell me because they’d forgot that I wasn’t on WhatsApp.” Fear not, Ken, WhatsApp is old news. Get on TikTok.
Last night’s Savile Club’s Christmas dinner had a European feel. Members sang O Come All Ye Faithful in Latin, O Holy Night in French, Silent Night in German and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing in English. “Next year we’re going to sing one in Greek but we haven’t yet worked out if it will be ancient or modern,” a member vows.
Night Rider lights up Savoy gala night
GQ’s Christmas lunch party drew a host of big names to the Treehouse Hotel yesterday – after all, who can refuse a festive lunchtime tipple? Model Daisy Lowe and presenters Maya Jama and Piers Morgan joined Alastair Campbell, Tracey Emin, jewellery designer Stephen Webster and musician Jack Peñate for the festivities.
Later in the evening, eco-fashion activist Livia Firth hosted her sustainability consultancy Eco-Age’s Meaningful Sparkle party at the same venue, alongside music entrepreneur Jamal Edwards.
Meanwhile, actors David Hasselhoff and Bonnie Langford celebrated Hasselhoff joining the 9 to 5: The Musical West End cast at The Savoy Theatre’s gala performance after-party. Hasselhoff showed his generous side recently, selling his version of the K.I.T.T. Knight Rider car for charity. “A man called me from Turkey, and he was crying ‘I love you,’” Hasselhoff told Chris Evans’ breakfast radio show. “He wanted to buy my Knight Rider car.
“So I sold it to him for like 150,000 bucks for charity.”
Is the Beast of Bolsover in trouble? Last night shadow education secretary Angela Rayner tweeted an effusive good luck message to the veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner with a sentimental film eulogising his lengthy political career. “Sending all my love and solidarity to the one of the greatest Labour MPs ever.”
With the Tories targeting his Leave seat hard, does Rayner have a bad feeling?
Tom Watson signs off as Labour’s deputy leader and shadow culture secretary in an email. “Before they finally unplug the computers, I wanted to say a heartfelt thanks for your support. It’s been a blast! PS Vote Labour.” Still on-message.
Caroline Nokes, Tory candidate for Romsey and Southampton North, gives a glimpse of life outside London: “Eve of poll,” she tweeted yesterday, “I’ve been in Rownhams and Romsey today, before herding pigs.” It’s not all glamour.
Lenny’s not stirred by black Bond idea
Lenny Henry raised an eyebrow at Idris Elba playing James Bond last night, telling an audience at the Library private members’ club: “Can you imagine him just driving down the street in an Aston Martin?
“How long would it be until sirens and a ‘Is this your car, sir?’
‘Q gave it to me.’
“‘Who’s Q? Sounds like a drug dealer, get out the car.’”
The comedian, who is touring his book Who Am I, Again?, went on: “Black Bond my backside.
“Why have a black Bond? We need to make something up ourselves. We need to make up our own heroes.”
Quote of the day
‘As a dramatist, it’s all good material but, as a citizen, I sometimes wish it was a bit more boring’
Playwright James Graham reflects on the mixed blessing of modern politics