Village life - Kevin Maguire ducks off

Tales of two deputies, lookalikes, a strange political coupling, and the latest on the Cameron hair

The sound of knives unsheathed is heard on Labour benches as the prospects of the deputy speaker, Sir Alan Haselhurst, trading up to Michael Martin's court coat take a dip. Young guns accuse Sir A of giving Tories an easy ride while sitting in for Mick, recovering from angioplasty after surgeons successfully located the former sheet metal worker's heart.

Another deputy, John Prescott, proves an old sea dog still lurks within the well-upholstered figure found in the back of a chauffeur-driven Jag. A BBC TV crew asked for his assessment of 10 Sleazy Street's local difficulty with loans-for-lordships, and Prezza muttered something akin to "duck" and then "off". Asked to clarify, the deputy premier left the blushing mike on a stick clear it wasn't duck, but was definitely followed by off.

The spontaneous self-combustion of the Tories' tearful shadow bean counter Theresa Villiers, pulled from telly and Commons debates after flopping in front of the cameras, leads unsisterly sisters to reckon she looks like John Redwood's scary elder sister. That other shadow chief secretary, Julia Goldsworthy (Lib Dem), shouldn't laugh. The unsisterly fancy that she'd win a Peter Mandelson lookalike contest. Alan Milburn, meanwhile, sups from the bitter cup of disappointment in the tearoom, damning Big Gordie's Budget as "adequate" and noting that the incoming premier's ten-year plan for No 10 is - wait for it - "political".

Behind the closed doors of Monday's PLP emerges an unlikely ally of Lord Levy of Loans. Dennis Skinner hails "little Lord Levy", comparing his quest for party funds with the National Union of Mineworkers appeal for ready cash when sequestrated during the Great Strike. "This is a family issue. This is a class issue," declares Skinner to a backdrop of falling jaws. The millionaire and the beast - the most unexpected political coupling since Major & Currie.

The latest word on Citizen Dave's barnet is that not only does he dye his locks but he uses hairspray to keep the coloured filaments in place. Thus is born the Silvikrin Kid.

Kevin Maguire is associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

Next Article