It’s the Ed’s Factor!

Two young ladies are playing havoc with David Miliband's weekend viewing.

Wannabe girls in blue have a redoubtable champion in Harriet Harperson. Labour's deputy sheriff is, I hear, arguing that the party adopt women-only shortlists to guarantee half its truncheon-wavers in next November's cop commissioner identity parades are WPCs, or Women Police Candidates. Labour opposed creating the £120,000-a-year ranks in England and Wales, but will now stand for the posts. The whisper is that several MPs, those facing redundancy in the parliamentary boundary butchery in particular, fancy their own chances. Juliet Bravo, Cagney and Lacey, Jane Tennison . . . Hazel Blears?

To the Selly Oak constituency of Steve McCabe, the steely Scot and adopted Brummie. The auction of a bottle of House of Commons malt raised £75 for local party funds. Lord (Peter) Snape, the MC, pointed out the whisky was signed by the Eds - Miliband and Balls - Rachel Reeves and Chuka Umunna. "You will be able to say in the future," Snape declared, "that this bottle was signed by a Labour prime minister." Perhaps, but which of the four ?

Paper tosser Oliver Letwin's dumping of correspondence in the bins of St James's Park may not be as unusual as it first appeared. A Treasury snout recalled how, when Ken Clarke was chancellor, a senior spin mistress used to collect sensitive documents in a black bin bag and chuck them into the Thames from Westminster Bridge. That was a truly rubbish method - particularly on the occasion when an air-filled sack floated off down the river.

Your correspondent's teasing in this column of Cameron as "Druggie Dave" earns a mention in The Larry Diaries, the imagined tales of the Downing Street cat by Anon - or James Robinson of the Guardian, to give him his real name. "DC was what Mrs C would call 'clubbable', charming the most hostile scribblers - apart from one bloke from the Daily Mirror," writes Larry. "They've got this guy from the north-east called Kevin Maguire working for them and he stood in the corner all evening, sipping from a champagne flute and calling the boss 'Druggie Dave'." Hmm . . . I think it was a wine glass.

Two young ladies from South Shields, in the X Factor hopefuls Rhythmix, are playing havoc with David Miliband's weekend viewing. Labour's latest lost leader is required to watch Simon Cowell's X-ploitation to furnish informed quotes to his local rag. Highbrow Miliband switching to ITV1 must halve the BBC4 audience.

The suggestion of Shipley's turbo-Thatcherite Philip Davies that the disabled could volunteer to earn less than the £6.08 minimum wage wasn't good news for Phil Davies, the GMB national secretary. Blameless Union PD received death threats intended for Tory PD. Union PD's sense of unjustness was heightened by his job - representing workers at Remploy, where he seeks higher, not lower, pay for disabled workers. Anybody confusing Tory PD for Union PD is in for an expensive surprise.

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 24 October 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The art of lying