Nigel Farage cancels talk at top London private school to visit Donald Trump

Donald Trump and Nigel Farage ( )
Donald Trump and Nigel Farage ( )

Londoner’s Diary

Nigel Farage was all set to give a talk to the students of Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith this week. As we reported earlier in the month, parents at the £24,000-a-year school were horrified by the prospect of their children being exposed to Farage’s views and tried to get the talk cancelled.

But they needn’t have worried — in the end, according to Farage, “Latymer lost out to Mar-a-Lago”. The former Brexit Party leader had been in the US to speak at the Right-wing CPAC conference. He had every intention of making the talk until a surprise came up.

“I had a flight home booked for Sunday night, but then I got the invitation from the president,” he told the Londoner.

Farage ditched Latymer and hot-footed it down to Mar-a-Lago. On the day the talk was supposed to take place, Farage shared a picture of himself grinning with Donald Trump at his Florida home. “People were devastated,” one student told us. “The teachers were excited as well. Everyone had been preparing questions to grill him.”

Was this a case of trading up for a better offer? “That’s exactly what happened,” Farage said. At least he’s honest. But he promises this is not the last Latymer will see of him: “I hate cancelling. I will rearrange it.”

The talk had been organised by the school’s JS Mill society, which hosts a variety of politicians and economists. Speakers over the years have included Jacob Rees Mogg, Vince Cable, Graham Brady and Zac Goldsmith.

The Lib Dems’ ‘Bionic Man’

Rob Blackie (PA)
Rob Blackie (PA)

In the London mayoral contest, all eyes are on incumbent mayor Sadiq Khan and his Conservative rival Susan Hall (the latest polling for the Evening Standard has Khan miles ahead). But what of the dark horse in the race, Liberal Democrat Rob Blackie? Though he hasn’t made much of a splash yet, there are two months of campaigning left until polling day and Blackie has a trick up his sleeve, or rather under his collar.

For Mr Blackie has been jokily dubbed “the bionic man” by his campaign team after they recently discovered he has a titanium neck. Six years ago, Blackie, whose day job is digital marketing, was mugged so brutally that his neck was broken. Surgeons miraculously managed to mend him by grafting a titanium vertebrae of synthetic bone onto the remainder of his neck. How does “bionic man” Blackie feel about his new nickname?

“I’ve been called worse things,” he quips.

He is unsurprisingly making law and order the main focus of his mayoral campaign.

Hack attack

British political journalists have a new target on their backs: from the fashion police. The viral American menswear influencer Derek Guy, who ruthlessly dissects the outfits of public figures on his X/Twitter account, has seemingly tired of lambasting celebrity fashion faux pas. Now Guy has turned his attention to our parliamentary press pack.

Yesterday, he rather surprisingly took aim at the political editor of The Sun newspaper, Harry Cole, for wearing a suit with what he considered to be a too-low armhole. That really should be the least of his worries. Few places can boast as many crimes against fashion per square metre than the parliamentary estate. Are any of us truly safe from Guy’s beady eye?