Guardian Diary in a Pickle

Who said perseverance never got you anywhere? After no fewer than ten days of calling his office, the Guardian diarist Hugh Muir finally got his answer to whether Eric Pickles would attend the Young Britons’ Foundation annual conference. Muir, who doesn’t like the fact YBF don’t like the NHS, ran diary story after diary story demanding an answer. There were at least four that Guido can see. Guido hears that Pickles opened his speech to the young right-wingers on Saturday with:

“I understand that a man that I’ve never met, who writes for a paper I’ve never read, is fascinated to know whether I would attend this conference. Well, I’m delighted to attend”.

Hugh took his public slap-down on the chin when Guido spoke to him earlier: “I understand he went down a storm”. He’s not too happy about his “reputable newspaper” being ignored though. Better luck next year…



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John McDonnell tells the Gallery/Lobby lunch what the priest told him to do…

‘He persuaded me to do this. He said you need to soften your image. So do Mumsnet and do this…. I’m trying to soften my image.’

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