Bridgen had the Tory whip withdrawn last month after he compared vaccinations to the Holocaust. Organiser John Mappin invited Robert Malone, a vaccine-sceptic doctor, to give “evidence of the harms that the injections have done to innocent civilians”. Guests included Lawrence Fox and Nigel Farage. Evidence that Covid vaccines are unsafe are unproven.
The purpose of the event was “An evening to celebrate the importance of free speech outside and inside Parliament and our need to ensure Safety of Medical Protocols.” pic.twitter.com/ijYaSPEKkQ
— John Mappin (@JohnMappin) February 18, 2023
Mappin said “the views expressed were those of the event hosts and their guests and do not in anyway reflect those of the club or its members”. Not all got in: Richard Fairbrass, of band Right Said Fred, said he was refused entry for wearing the wrong trousers. Some guests, including American doctor Richard Malone, posed in front of a painting of Winston Churchill in the club’s morning room.
Not so fast stream
Jacob Rees-Mogg tried to abolish the ‘fast stream’ for civil servants. Now Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, right, in a lecture at Bristol University, says it is here to stay, but over half of participants will be drawn from STEM subjects: science, tech, engineering and maths. The only prime minister to get a STEM degree was Margaret Thatcher. Could the change mean fewer history grads like Case at the top of Whitehall?
Boris’s new nod to his hero
There are reports that Boris Johnson has bought a nine-bedroom Georgian manor in Oxfordshire, complete with five acres of land and a moat. We notice a passing resemblance to Chartwell, above, the pile bought by Winston Churchill in 1922 when he was in political limbo. The comparison can’t have escaped Boris, a noted fanboy. Rishi Sunak will hope he takes up watercolours and stays out of politics.
From Star Wars to star maker
Star Wars actor Daisy Ridley is moving into making films of her own, producing and starring in new thriller Magpie with husband Tom Bateman, who wrote the script. Ridley said last night that working with her partner was stressful, and led friends to tell her: “I’m so proud of you and that your marriage survived... some people can’t survive IKEA”. Speaking at the BFI Future Film Festival Awards on the Southbank yesterday, Ridley had some advice for young stars too. “Turn up prepared, know your lines, and... don’t be an a**ehole”. Noted.
Joan has still got the x factor
Londoner’s Diary 20th Feb 23
On Friday, Dame Joan Collins graced the ES x Perfect Magazine party at The Dorchester for fashion week. And last night, a brace of Vogue editors were at a Vogue and Tiffany & Co. bash at Annabel’s: the UK’s Edward Enniful and Vogue US boss Dame Anna Wintour posed with model Jourdan Dunn. Serena Williams and Naomi Campbell went too. Over at Chiltern Firehouse, All Quiet on the Western Front director Edward Berger clutched his Baftas at a Netflix party.