Stop the press!

Forget party conferences, the real stories are in Fuerteventura

You know something's up when the name of the newspaper starts with "Sunny".

As in, Sunny Fuerteventura. What if it's not sunny? I can't believe it's sunny every single day in Fuerteventura. On the rainy days the newspaper's name will just seem like a jaded, cynical barb. "Oh yeah, sunny Fuerteventura. Because it's so sunny here."

I probably didn't need to spell that out.

Anyway, I suspect Sunny Fuerteventura struggles to find stories at the best of times. And perhaps the summer months were particularly tough for the newshounds. But this story really stretches the concept of "news" to its outer limits:

40 attended this weekend's free kitesurfing course

Forty?! Kite-surfing?! FREE?! There's a lot there. But what I love about this piece is the true attention to detail. No stone has been left unturned:

Attendees were divided into two groups, half on Saturday and half on Sunday, to participate in an introductory session to the sport which focused mainly on teaching the assembly and tuning of all equipment . . .

I mean, at least we know now, you know? The truth, the facts, the story behind all those rumours, the endless hearsay.


Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Jeremy Corbyn fans are getting extremely angry at the wrong Michael Foster

He didn't try to block the Labour leader off a ballot. He's just against hunting with dogs. 

Michael Foster was a Labour MP for Worcester from 1997 to 2010, where he was best known for trying to ban hunting with dogs. After losing his seat to Tory Robin Walker, he settled back into private life.

He quietly worked for a charity, and then a trade association. That is, until his doppelganger tried to get Jeremy Corbyn struck off the ballot paper. 

The Labour donor Michael Foster challenged Labour's National Executive Committee's decision to let Corbyn automatically run for leadership in court. He lost his bid, and Corbyn supporters celebrated.

And some of the most jubilant decided to tell Foster where to go. 

Foster told The Staggers he had received aggressive tweets: "I have had my photograph in the online edition of The Sun with the story. I had to ring them up and suggest they take it down. It is quite a common name."

Indeed, Michael Foster is such a common name that there were two Labour MPs with that name between 1997 and 2010. The other was Michael Jabez Foster, MP for Hastings and Rye. 

One senior Labour MP rang the Worcester Michael Foster up this week, believing he was the donor. 

Foster explained: "When I said I wasn't him, then he began to talk about the time he spent in Hastings with me which was the other Michael Foster."

Having two Michael Fosters in Parliament at the same time (the donor Michael Foster was never an MP) could sometimes prove useful. 

Foster said: "When I took the bill forward to ban hunting, he used to get quite a few of my death threats.

"Once I paid his pension - it came out of my salary."

Foster has never met the donor Michael Foster. An Owen Smith supporter, he admits "part of me" would have been pleased if he had managed to block Corbyn from the ballot paper, but believes it could have caused problems down the line.

He does however have a warning for Corbyn supporters: "If Jeremy wins, a place like Worcester will never have a Labour MP.

"I say that having years of working in the constituency. And Worcester has to be won by Labour as part of that tranche of seats to enable it to form a government."