Ed’s embarrassing trip for a wi-fi

My 20p would be on John Bercow remaining Speaker for the remainder of this parliament but should the pint-sized chap be discarded, I hear of a couple of hats likely be in the frame. Two of the three deputy speakers, the Tory Nigel Evans and Labour's Lindsay Hoyle, were described by an informant as circling each other like agitated lions. Declarations of undying loyalty to Bercow are interpreted as further evidence that both covet the top job.

Ed Miliband was accused of loitering near the gents on the west-bound M25 Clacket Lane services. The geek on a poster advertising free wi-fi is
a doppelgänger; his office was forced to check with Mili himself before denying it was their leader. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or, in Ted's case, the first flattery he's enjoyed in seven months.

Frisky Labour hecklers are newly merciless in their mockery of Liberal Democrats, derided as the spawn of the devil for putting Citizen Dave in No 10. Take the case of yellow-belly new boy Gordon Birtwistle, a one-time Labour councillor who now sits as Burnley's MP. A snout recounted what Hansard delicately described as an "interruption" when Birtwistle quizzed Cameron about Libya during PMQs. Birtwistle, nervously standing and speaking with his hands in his pockets, was a cue for schoolboy ribaldry from the Labour MPs Kevin Brennan and Stephen Pound - a Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand double act. What is recorded for posterity as an interruption was, I'm told, Brennan shouting "He's playing with himself" and Pound yelling "He's pleasuring himself". Cameron advising Birtwistle to ignore the abuse didn't help. The Lib Dem punched the air when the people's toff suggested Labour was furious he'd won Burnley prompting Brennan or Pound, the snout is unsure which, to add "Urgh - that's his dirty hand." Politics was never a clean fight in the Commons chamber.

Some 65, mostly Labour, MPs have signed the former-miner-turned-Hattie-Harperson-bag carrier, Ian Lavery's Early Day Motion demanding that the BBC director-general, Mark Thompson, issue an edict to include the Morning Star in all newspaper reviews. The lefties may be perturbed to discover that Murdoch must be one of the paper's biggest bulk-buyers since the collapse of the Soviet Union - Sky's Westminster office takes delivery of around a dozen copies a day.

Sticking with Sky, your correspondent observed the Cameron cutie Joanne Cash detonating briefly on Twitter after this column recorded its disappointment at her TV non-appearance one Sunday morning. I found it almost as intriguing as my telly snout did.

My advice to the Tory staffer (male, 40ish) and councillor (female, 35ish) in Pimlico's Indian Diner on the evening of Friday 4 March, is don't talk so L-O-U-D-L-Y because you kept disturbing a reader's curry. Time will tell if his "expectation management" of 1,000 lost Conservative seats in May's local elections is on the money and whether she wins that magnum of champagne in a bet.

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

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 14 March 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Who owns the world?