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Christmas Trees are coming! Be Prepared this December

Types of Christmas Trees

There are various types of Christmas trees available, and you must choose the one that is perfect for your home during the holiday season. There are various types, as you will see below:

Nordman Fir

The Norman Fir Christmas Tree barely drops its needles, making it the most popular choice in Modern times, due to the safety issues related to children and pets, and the sharp Christmas tree needles. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, and their needles are a lot fleshier.

Norway Spruce

The Norway Spruce Christmas tree, brings the classic smell of childhood to your home. Its needles do drop a lot more than other varieties, but it more than makes up for that with its beautiful smell, and really traditional tall and narrow shape.

Potted Christmas Trees

The Potted Christmas tree is a great choice if you would prefer your tree to last longer than just a few weeks, as potted trees are more likely to live on through the year, and be fine to use again a year later. The come in both varieties, the Nordman or Norway Spruce, and are often a little cheaper.

Where to buy a Christmas Tree

You can normally buy Christmas trees at your local garden centre, or check online for your nearest Christmas tree farm. Sapcote Garden Centre, Leicester, LE94LG, 01455 274049, (http://www.sapcotegc.co.uk/christmas/christmas-trees) has a range of Nordman Fir, and Norway Spruce Christmas trees for sale, and the price is the same as 2012.

IVF fail couple have three healthy babies after injections of soya and egg

  • Rob and Jennie Macphee began IVF in 2008, the day after getting married
  • Over two years they suffered six failed attempts and one miscarriage
  • Later found Mrs Macphee’s strong immune system was attacking embryos
  • She had injections of soy and egg products and became pregnant 
  • Twins Dylan and Niamh were born in 2011 followed by 10-week-old Orla 

By

Lizzie Parry for MailOnline


Published:
06:54 EST, 28 July 2015

|
Updated:
09:04 EST, 28 July 2015

After six failed IVF attempts Rob and Jennie Macphee were delighted to be expecting twins, Dylan and Niamh. Four years later they welcomed their third child, Orla

After six failed IVF attempts Rob and Jennie Macphee were delighted to be expecting twins, Dylan and Niamh. Four years later they welcomed their third child, Orla

A mother desperate to start a family endured six failed IVF attempts  – only to discover her over-active immune system was attacking her babies.

Jennie Macphee and her husband Rob, from Stamford, Lincolnshire, began trying for a baby immediately after they got married in 2008.

The couple had been warned that despite the fact they were still in their 20s, they may experience problems conceiving after Mr Macphee, 35, had surgery as a teenager.

They saved for IVF, but faced the heartache of six failed attempts and one miscarriage over the course of two years – at a total cost of £21,000. 

After researching alternative types of IVF treatment, the couple later discovered Mrs Macphee’s strong immune system had been rejecting the embryos, preventing them from implanting. 

The nurse, who is now 34, began a course of intralipid therapy, where she was injected with soya and egg products to tackle ‘killer cells’ in her immune system.

Months later, the couple were delighted to discover they were expecting.

Twins Dylan and Niamh, now four, were born in 2011.

And they were followed by 10-week-old Orla, who was conceived using the same frozen embryos as her older siblings. 

Mrs Macphee said: ‘For years we knew that we may have trouble conceiving because Rob had an operation when he was younger, but we never imagined that I would be the reason why we were struggling to get pregnant.

‘We had our first round of IVF on the NHS the day after our wedding day. 

‘We were hopeful because we were still in our twenties at the time, but it turned out to be unsuccessful.

‘We saved some money for our next round and moved to a different clinic and we later had another four rounds. I also had a very early miscarriage.’

She said experts told the couple they were producing good embryos, but warned they wouldn’t implant.

‘It was a very difficult time for us,’ the now mother-of-three, said. ‘We were nearing our 30s and our friends began having children.

‘It was difficult to watch at times but it made us more determined.’

The couple began their first IVF attempt the day after their wedding in 2008, while still in their 20s. They feared they would struggle to conceive after Mr Macphee went through surgery in his teens
But after the heartbreak six failed attempts and one miscarriage the couple discovered Mrs Macphee's immune system was attacking the embryos, preventing them from implanting. She is pictured, while pregnant with the twins

The couple began their first IVF attempt the day after their wedding in 2008, while still in their 20s. They feared they would struggle to conceive after Mr Macphee went through surgery in his teens. But after the heartbreak of six failed attempts and one miscarriage the couple discovered Mrs Macphee’s immune system was attacking the embryos, preventing them from implanting. She is pictured right, while pregnant with the twins

Before becoming pregnant with Dylan and Niamh, Mrs Macphee underwent a course of intralipid therapy, where she was injected with soya and egg products to tackle 'killer cells' in her immune system

Before becoming pregnant with Dylan and Niamh, Mrs Macphee underwent a course of intralipid therapy, where she was injected with soya and egg products to tackle ‘killer cells’ in her immune system

The couple welcomed Niamh and Dylan, now four years old, in 2011. Mrs Macphee said: 'When we were told we were having twins everything felt perfect. We had always wanted more than one child and we had been trying for so long'

The couple welcomed Niamh and Dylan, now four years old, in 2011. Mrs Macphee said: ‘When we were told we were having twins everything felt perfect. We had always wanted more than one child and we had been trying for so long’

After two years of difficulties, the pair visited an IVF specialist who told Mrs Macphee her chances of conceiving were less than eight per cent because her immune system was so strong it was destroying the embryos before they had chance to attach.

‘I had never considered that my immune system was preventing me from having a successful pregnancy,’ she said.

WHAT IS INTRALIPID THERAPY AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

The treatment is given to suppress natural killer (NK) cells in a woman’s body, the theory being that some women’s bodies are non-baby-friendly and their immune system attacks the embryo as if it were a foreign body.

Intralipids — a mix of soya-bean oil, egg yolk, glycerine and water — are a fat emulsion used as a source of calories and essential fatty acids for post-operative patients and premature babies requiring nutrition into their bloodstream.

They have also been found to have an immuno-suppressant effect. 

The theory is that the intralipids have a stabilising effect on cell membranes, which makes it harder for the killer cells to attack and go on to cause implantation failure and miscarriage.

The fats are highly calorific — about 200 calories a dose, the equivalent of a Snickers bar — and have been likened to ‘getting an armful of mayonnaise’.

Administered via a drip usually twice before conception, and then three more times after, the treatment is thought to help the embryo implant and grow normally.

Alongside this, women are also recommended to take steroids, which further suppress the immune system, and blood thinners to prevent blood clots, which also can impede embryos implanting.

‘I had never heard of it before and when the consultant told me I had an eight per cent chance of having a live pregnancy I just thought “oh my God”.

‘I couldn’t believe it.’

The couple gathered enough money to fund an alternative course of treatment that would attempt to weaken Mrs Macphee’s immune system.

She began having intravenous doses of egg and soya products every fortnight for three months, and in September 2010 the couple discovered she was pregnant.

‘We took the pregnancy test before we attended a friend’s wedding and we were delighted,’ she said.

‘We didn’t dare feel too excited because we had been there before.

‘The first scan was absolutely mad. My husband and I were looking at each other in complete disbelief. 

‘When we were told we were having twins everything felt perfect. 

‘We had always wanted more than one child and we had been trying for so long.

‘When the twins were born we brought them home in their car seats and put them together in the living room. It was a lovely feeling and we were so ready for them.

‘We asked the clinic to keep some of our embryos in case we wanted to try again but we’d convinced ourselves it wouldn’t happen again.

‘At the end of last year I’d become broody again so we decided to go back and start the treatment.’

The couple said they couldn’t believe it when the treatment worked first time.

Orla was born in May, and the twins are preparing to start school in September.

Mrs Macphee said: ‘Our family is complete now.’  

Miss Maha Ragunath, medical director at CARE Fertility in Nottingham, said: ‘To endure multiple failed implantations or miscarriage is devastating and our experience has shown that some women may benefit from specific blood tests to check for abnormalities in their immune system.

The couple asked the clinic to keep some of their embryos in case they wanted to try again but  convinced themselves it wouldn't happen. After one attempt they discovered Mrs Macphee was pregnant

The couple asked the clinic to keep some of their embryos in case they wanted to try again but convinced themselves it wouldn’t happen. After one attempt they discovered Mrs Macphee was pregnant

Baby Orla, pictured with her parents and older brother and sister, arrived 10 weeks ago. Mrs Macphee added: 'Our family is complete now'

Baby Orla, pictured with her parents and older brother and sister, arrived 10 weeks ago. Mrs Macphee added: ‘Our family is complete now’

‘We are looking for an increase in natural killer cells which are implicated in failure of embryo implantation and miscarriage.

‘We would typically offer these tests to women over 35 who have had two miscarriages or two failed IVF cycles, perhaps previous immune problems such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

‘If a problem is identified, treatment is quite straightforward. In Jennie’s case, we prescribed intralipid therapy which is a solution based on egg and soya products as part of her IVF cycle.

‘Given in drip form by a trained nurse, the infusion is inexpensive, well tolerated and is shown to calm down an over-active immune system, allowing an embryo to implant in the womb. Eating more eggs or soya doesn’t work.

‘If a pregnancy test is positive, intralipid can be given every four weeks until the twelfth week of pregnancy to allow normal development and prevent miscarriage.

‘There are many causes of treatment failure in IVF and miscarriage and each patient needs individual assessment, but if an immune issue is found, we do have treatment available.’ 

 

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London’s housing madness means it is cheaper to live in MADRID and commute by plane

  • Rent and council tax in Camden and a tube ticket costs £2,128 per month
  • But a flat in Madrid, flights and connections would cost only £1,725
  • Tessa Jowell says renters were ‘paying the price’ for the housing crisis

By

Matt Chorley, Political Editor for MailOnline


Published:
07:07 EST, 28 July 2015

|
Updated:
08:59 EST, 28 July 2015

Renting in London is now so expensive it would be cheaper to commute every day from Madrid, it was claimed today.

It costs £5,000 more to live in a one-bedroom flat in Camden than to stay in central Madrid and fly to London four days a week.

Tessa Jowell, running to be Labour’s mayoral candidate in the capital, said renters were ‘paying the price’ for the country’s housing crisis.

The Plaza Santa Ana in central Madrid
Shops and cafes in Camden Passage in north London

It costs £5,000 more to live in a one-bedroom flat in Camden (right) than to stay in central Madrid (left) and fly to London four days a week

Soaring house prices mean millions of more people are forced to rent, while the dream of buying their own property disappears.

However, rents in London have soared by 12 per cent in the last year to £1,418 per month – compared to a national average of £867.

Analysis by Miss Jowell’s campaign team shows how low rents and cheap flights mean it would be cheap for someone to live 800 miles away in Madrid.

It shows that a one-bedroom flat in Camden Town in north London will cost £1,893 per month, with council tax adding £111.40.

A zone 1-2 travel card to reach central London costs an extra £123.30 per month.

This takes the total living and travel costs to £2,128 per month, or £25,532 per year.

However, a one-bedroom flat in Madrid – described as being ‘stylish, fully-furnished and air conditioned’ – would cost €750 or £532 per month.

In Spain council tax is paid by the landlord, not the tenant, which means the rent would include these costs.

Tessa Jowell, running to be Labour's mayoral candidate in the capital, said renters were 'paying the price' for the country's housing crisis

Tessa Jowell, running to be Labour’s mayoral candidate in the capital, said renters were ‘paying the price’ for the country’s housing crisis

The analysis includes the cost of trains to Madrid airport and using the London Underground to get into the city centre
The analysis includes the cost of trains to Madrid airport and using the London Underground to get into the city centre

The analysis includes the cost of trains to Madrid airport and using the London Underground to get into the city centre

MADRID 

Flat

One bedroom flat right in the centre of Madrid

Rent: £532 per month

Commute

Flight Madrid to Stansted: £914.30 per month.

Return train ticket Madrid centre to airport: £52 per month. Stansted Express to Liverpool Street: £227.33 per month.

TOTAL: £1,725 per month/£20,707 per year 

LONDON 

Flat

One-bedroom flat in Camden Town

Rent: £1,893 per month

Council tax: £111.40 per month

Commute

A zone 1-2 travel card to use the Underground to reach central London costs £123.30 per month 

TOTAL: £2,128 per month/£25,532 per year

By booking flights in advance, it is possible to get a return ticket from Madrid to London Stansted for £211 a week, flying four days a week Monday to Thursday, costing £914.30 per month.

The team included to £52 per month cost of a return train ticket from central Madrid to the airport, and the £227.33 bill for the Stansted Express train service into Liverpool Street station in central London. 

It means the Madrid option costs a total of £1,725 per month, or £20,707.26 per year.

As a result, Miss Jowell’s campaign claim living in Madrid and commuting to work in London would save £402 every month or £4,828 each year. 

Miss Jowell said: ‘The housing crisis is getting worse all the time – and renters are paying the price. Londoners are now paying so much to landlords that they could be better off commuting from Madrid than staying in London.

‘We’ve talked about London’s housing crisis for too long – now it’s time to deliver the change that London needs. 

‘If I become Mayor, I’ll set up Homes for Londoners on my first day in City Hall to finally bring the housing crisis under control and get our city building again, starting on the Mayor’s own land.’

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Dane Bowers ‘violently attacked ex-fiancée Sophia Cahill leaving her with bloody nose’

  • Bowers is accused of assaulting former Miss Wales girlfriend in January
  • She claims he pulled her by the hair and hit her when he was hungover
  • The pair were still living at his parents’ house despite having split up 
  • Bowers denies assaulting glamour model at Croydon Magistrates Court 

By

Jennifer Smith for MailOnline


Published:
07:12 EST, 27 July 2015

|
Updated:
08:29 EST, 27 July 2015



Dane Bowers violently attacked ex-fiancée leaving her with a bloody nose after she asked him why he had glitter on his face, a court has heard. 

The former singer is accused of assaulting Sophia Cahill in January, a month after the couple parted ways, allegedly pulling her by the hair at his parents’ home. 

Croydon Magistrates’ Court that Bowers was hungover on January 29 when Miss Cahill asked him about glitter on his face at around 6.30am, sending him in to a violent rage.  

Bowers, 35, denies assaulting the 31-year-old mother-of-two. 

Bowers denies assaulting Sophia Cahill, his former girlfriend
Sophia Cahill claims the incident took place in January

Dane Bowers denies assaulting Sophia Cahill, his former fiancee, in January. The pair arrived separately at Croydon Magistrates Court today (above)

The pair split up last winter, a year after becoming engaged in Tenerife, after Miss Cahill alleged to have found photographs of other glamour models on his mobile phone. 

They were living with Bowers’s parents despite having parted ways when he allegedly assaulted her on January 29.  

Crying as she recalled details of the alleged incident in court today, Miss Cahill, who was crowned Miss Wales in 2002, said: ‘I pointed to the glitter on his face.

‘I had caught him in bed with somebody (before) – that obviously gave us trust issues.

‘We were still living together and we said that if we are still living under the same roof we would not do anything to disrespect each other and do anything with other people.

‘He had been out all night and obviously I jumped to conclusions because of other things he has done in the past.’ 

The couple were engaged for a year after Bowers proposed during a sunshine winter break in December 2013. They parted ways last December after she allegedly discovered photographs of other women on his phone 

The couple were engaged for a year after Bowers proposed during a sunshine winter break in December 2013. They parted ways last December after she allegedly discovered photographs of other women on his phone 

Miss Cahill then claimed the singer became aggressive and violent.

‘Dane was grabbing me by the back of my hair and pulling my neck right back. I could not breathe. He was really really aggressive. He was angry. He was just crazy.

‘He was on my back. He was squeezing my throat and my head was still pulled back by my hair. 

‘He was leaning on my face. He was just swearing at me,’ the mother-of-two said. 

Bowers is then alleged to have hit her in the face, causing her nose to bleed. 

‘He hit me in the nose and there was blood everywhere from my nose. The first I remember of the blood was feeling it all over me and the floor.

‘I only had nose surgery about six months before. He had hit me in it and I guess it was still healing. I was in pain.’

Miss Cahill also claimed the incident ended when her former fiancé’s father, Andy, stepped in.  

The pair were living at Bowers’s parent’s house after selling theirs days earlier when the alleged attack took place.    

Following their engagement in 2013 Bowers told fans he was the 'luckiest man alive'. Miss Cahill was said to have been 'devastated' when they split the following year 

Following their engagement in 2013 Bowers told fans he was the ‘luckiest man alive’. Miss Cahill was said to have been ‘devastated’ when they split the following year 

This morning Bowers referred to the trial, telling his 99,000 Twitter followers: ‘Lucky to have great friends and family in my corner. Also lucky to have such an amazing person to talk to whenever I want,’  addressing a hostess at a Las Vegas nightclub.  

At a previous hearing proceedings were halted when it emerged Mr Bowers’s legal team had not seen video testimony given by Miss Cahill’s son. 

Bowers once dated Katie Price while at the height of his fame.

Miss Cahill was crowned Miss Wales in 2000 and went on to have a successful modelling career.

She made appearances in Playboy magazine on both sides of the Atlantic and starred in music videos.

In 2010 she appeared in The Flirting Club, a British version of U.S blockbuster American Pie.

 

 

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David Cameron demands answers over disgraced peer Lord Sewel after video of him snorting drugs with call girls emerges as pressure mounts for him to be expelled from parliament 

  • Lord Sewel, 69, filmed snorting cocaine with prostitutes at his London flat 
  • Video shows him taking it with rolled-up £5 bank note off woman’s breasts
  • Married peer responsible for ‘overseeing standards’ in the House of Lords
  • He has now quit deputy speaker role as police investigate sordid footage
  • But he has not quit Lords, allowing him to claim £300-a-day in allowances
  • David Cameron demands the ‘full truth’ on Lord Sewel’s conduct 

By

Martin Robinson

and
Matt Chorley


and
John Stevens In Jakarta For Mailonline


Published:
07:00 EST, 27 July 2015

|
Updated:
08:28 EST, 27 July 2015

Lord Sewel today refused to quit Parliament over a video showing him snorting cocaine off the breasts of a prostitute, leaving him free to claim £300-a-day in parliamentary allowances.

The disgraced peer, 69, who was reported to police, quit as deputy speaker of the Lords and suspended by Labour, is said to have vowed to ‘tough it out’ and resist calls to resign his peerage.

It came as David Cameron today demanded the ‘full truth’ on his conduct and said there are questions over whether Sewel is fit to sit in the Lords.

Lord Sewel’s reputation and political career are in tatters after a video emerged of him cavorting with two sex workers in his central London flat, behind the back of his third wife Lady Jennifer.

The married father of four was filmed necking champagne and vodka before using a £5 note to snort lines of cocaine from a table and later from the breasts of a sex worker 45 years his junior.

Drug lord: Sewel is secretly filmed snorting a line of cocaine at his Westminster flat with  £200-a-night call girls

Drug lord: Sewel is secretly filmed snorting a line of cocaine at his Westminster flat with £200-a-night call girls

But a source told the BBC today he would not be quitting over the scandal. 

Speaking in Jakarta this afternoon David Cameron said: ‘These are very serious allegations, I think it’s right he has stood down from his committee posts and I’m sure further questions will be asked about whether it is appropriate to have someone legislating and acting in the House of Lords if they have genuinely behaved in this way. It’s still going to take some I suspect to get to the full truth’.

DISGRACED PEER SEWEL SUSPENDED BY LABOUR SO CAN’T VOTE IN ‘HOPELESS’ ELECTION

Lord Sewel has been suspended from the Labour Party following allegations that he took drugs with prostitutes.

The peer remained a member of the party despite giving up the whip under parliamentary conventions when he became deputy speaker of the Lords.

Scotland Yard has been called in to investigate the former minister after The Sun on Sunday published video allegedly showing him snorting cocaine while romping naked with two women.

An investigation by the House of Lords’ sleaze watchdog that could lead to his expulsion from Parliament is also expected to be launched.

A Labour spokesman said: ‘Lord Sewel has been suspended from the Labour Party.’ 

It means he can no longer vote in the upcoming election to replace Ed Miliband. 

During his cocaine-fuelled romp with sex workers Sewel had slammed  the Labour leadership race as ‘a f****** mess’.

He called Jeremy Corbyn ‘a romantic idiot’, The Sun said, adding: ‘This guy is in favour of immigration, high welfare spending. He’s a typical romantic idiot. Useless’.

He claimed Andy Burnham has been ‘terribly contradictory’ and ‘goes whichever way the wind is blowing’. 

His judgement of Yvette Cooper was that she is ‘okay but not strong’, while he appeared to forget Liz Kendall’s name, describing her as ‘a Blair supporter who is just too naive’.

And on the election in general he said: ‘So, an absolutely hopeless set of choices. There’s nobody bright enough, or who has the leadership qualities, to bring it off.’ 

Lord Sewel’s wife of 10 years Lady Jennifer, was in their million pound house near Aberdeen today.

A friend answered the door and told MailOnline: ‘Lady Jennifer will not see you and she has no comment to make’.

Asked if Lord Sewell was coming back she said: ‘Lord Sewel is not here and is not expected’. 

Sewel’s decision not to quit the Lords means he will be free to claim up to £300 a day in parliamentary allowances while any investigation is carried out. 

This money can only be claimed when the Lords is sitting, meaning he will only be able to claim the cash when the House returns in September, but any probe into his conduct is likely to last much longer than that. 

Today a new picture showing him smoking while wearing a prostitute’s bra and leather jacket emerged.

Until yesterday he chaired a committee on the conduct of peers and has said: ‘The actions of a few damage our reputation. Scandals make good headlines.’  

Outraged watchdogs and politicians say the married father of four should be booted out of Parliament. New laws brought in on July 16 now allow peers to expel colleagues for misconduct.

Betty Boothroyd, the former Commons Speaker, said the revelations were a ‘terrible shock’ and called on Lord Sewel to take a ‘quiet way out of the back door of the House of Lords’. 

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I thought it was unbelievable. It was a story you just couldn’t make up.

‘I’m totally embarrassed and ashamed of somebody in public life, a member of my House of Parliament, would behave in that situation.’

The crossbench peer said it was right that Lord Sewel had given up his role as deputy Speaker, but added: ‘I think he should take a quiet way out of the back door of the House of Lords, quite frankly.

‘I don’t know his family, but my sadness is for his family.’

Asked about the impact on the reputation of the House of Lords, she added: ‘It doesn’t leave it in tatters but you only need one bad apple in a barrel.

‘But I’m afraid he has been the bad apple in this barrel and I’m really acutely aware of what the public think about members of parliament and those that represent them whether it’s in the Commons or the Lords.’

She said the fact that Lord Sewel was in charge of upholding standards in the Lords ‘doesn’t leave us with a very good smell under the nose of the public quite frankly and I’m very ashamed of what he’s done because he has brought the House into some disrepute’.

Obtained by a Sunday newspaper, the video shows John Buttifant Sewel – a minister under Tony Blair – romping with two women at his rent-protected flat near Parliament.

He snorted cocaine from one of the prostitutes’ breasts after turning a photo of his wife face down on a desk. The women were paid £200 each.

Scotland Yard is under pressure to investigate the video, arrest the shamed peer and search his apartment. Cocaine possession attracts a maximum sentence of seven years.  

Support: The Sun's front page today featuring Lord Sewel wearing a ladies bright orange bra

Support: The Sun’s front page today featuring Lord Sewel wearing a ladies bright orange bra

Baron Sewel, who has two children and two more step-children, was made a minister by Mr Blair in 199

Baron Sewel, who has two children and two more step-children, was made a minister by Mr Blair in 1997

Yesterday morning Sewel resigned as chairman of the privileges and conduct committee and as deputy speaker. The roles gave him a salary of £84,500 and an annual housing allowance of £36,000.

Lords Speaker Baroness D’Souza is holding urgent talks with senior parliamentary officials this morning to discuss how to respond to the crisis. 

‘It’s definitely a top priority,’ said a House of Lords source.

LORD SEWEL: HOW HIS OWN FINE WORDS CAME BACK TO HAUNT HIM

‘The actions of a few damage our reputation. Scandals make good headlines’

July 16: Sewel announcing new powers to expel Lords if they are caught misbehaving

‘Happy days are here again’

July 22: Sewel as he welcomes the call girls into his London flat

‘They sort of look innocent but, you know, they’re whores’

On Asian women

‘I just want to be led astray’

To one of the call girls

‘Members of her Lordship’s House who are right thieves, rogues and b******* at times. Wonderful people that they are’

On his fellow peers

‘They do f*** all work in the Lords’

More on his fellow peers

‘It’s only £600 a week… you live on £50 a day’

Moaning about the Lords attendance allowance

‘What about trying the big one… it comes in a can… it’s Coca-Cola – forget the cola’

Sewel offers the call girls cocaine

She is understood to be surprised that Lord Sewel has not already quit. ‘He certainly has not written to the House to indicate that he is going to resign,’ the source added.

An official complaint is expected to be made imminently, which would trigger a probe by Lords Commissioner for Standards Paul Kernaghan, a former Chief Constable of Hampshire police.

It could lead to Lord Sewel’s suspension or permanent expulsion after tougher rules were introduced this month. 

But with the case already referred to police, it could be months before a verdict is reached. 

Sewel was also a British delegate to Nato’s parliamentary assembly – a situation that now raises security fears. And in the 800-strong House of Lords, he has been involved in passing legislation on sexual offences acts, brothel-keeping and prostitution. 

Alistair Graham, former head of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said Sewel’s behaviour was staggering and he could have no ‘credibility with the public as a legislator’.

‘You can argue that there are too many peers in the House of Lords already, so standing down would be in the public interest in two ways,’ he said. 

‘He should consider stepping down because the public have got to have trust in the people who are legislating on their behalf. How can they have trust in someone who is alleged to have broken the law?

‘It is difficult to have trust in somebody who has had such a conflict between his role as the chairman of the conduct committee and his personal behaviour. 

‘As an ordinary member of the House of Lords, he will be entitled to a basic subsistence allowance of £300 a day. The public will be appalled that given his personal behaviour as deputy speaker, he should continue to receive public funds.’

Call for answers: David Cameron, speaking in Jakarta, said there should be a full investigation into the conduct of the disgraced peer

Call for answers: David Cameron, speaking in Jakarta, said there should be a full investigation into the conduct of the disgraced peer

LORD SEWEL: ‘THERE IS A REAL PROBLEM WITH MPS AND BOYS’ 

Lord Sewel told prostitutes that there was a ‘real problem’ with MPs sleeping with ‘boys’.

One of the sex workers is heard asking whether he is the only politicians meeting with sex workers in his spare time.

He said: ‘I think there’s all sorts of things going on. Not in a great way — not with women. I think the real problem is with you know, erm, boys’.

The flat where Lord Sewel hosted his drug and sex party is in a building at the centre of the police investigation into a VIP child sex ring.

Officers began looking into claims last year that for years, prominent figures including VIPs, Whitehall officials and MPs plied young boys from local care homes with alcohol before ferrying them to flats at Dolphin Square where they were abused.

Lord Sewel has a studio apartment at the 7.5-acre estate in Pimlico, central London, which is popular with MPs and peers because it is a short walk from Westminster. There is also a restaurant, spa and fitness centre.

One victim of the historic abuse allegations, which date back to the Seventies, told police he had visited Dolphin Square at least ten times.

Former home secretary Leon Brittan, who died in January, was accused of hiding a dossier naming eight MPs as members of the sex ring. Cyril Smith, the former Liberal MP, and Sir Peter Morrison, Margaret Thatcher’s private secretary, have been implicated. 

Sparsely furnished, with an old-fashioned TV and a single daybed against the wall, Sewel’s flat is one of 1,250 built in 1937 for those ‘notable in public life or society’.

In the footage filmed at the flat, he claimed to have slept with 13 women at the studio, including a Labour member with whom he had an affair. He boasted about living in the same flats as Keeler, and said: ‘A Tory MP was found dead in his flat. I think he strangled himself to get a sexual high.’

Kevin Barron, a Labour MP and chairman of the Commons committee on standards, said: ‘I welcome his decision to resign from his committee. Under the circumstances, he’s hardly in a position to sit in judgment on people.’ 

Asked whether he should consider resigning his Lords seat, Mr Barron replied: ‘It does look bad. It’s a matter for the individual but I think maybe he should consider that.’

Former anti-sleaze MP Martin Bell said: ‘His position in the House of Lords is untenable.’

John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw, said: ‘He should immediately retire and never be seen in the Lords again. Public respect for Parliament couldn’t be any lower as it is.

‘If he doesn’t resign, his own committee will have no choice but to suspend him. He’ll end up in front of his own committee, which is absurd.

‘He has been a real barrier to transparency. His committee refuses to act on virtually anything, and notoriously so.’

The Lords code maintains that members must ‘always act on their personal honour’. 

Sewel was elected chairman of committees in 2012, and he also served as chairman of the conduct committee. 

In that job he drew up a code of conduct that insists on ‘selflessness, integrity, accountability, openness, honest and leadership’.

Baroness D’Souza, the Lords Speaker, branded his behaviour ‘shocking and unacceptable’ and said she would be calling in Scotland Yard.

Police sources indicated they would assess the evidence but pointed out that drug-taking allegations were notoriously difficult to prove when there is only video evidence.

The peer was caught on the film, which was given to the Sun on Sunday, snorting lines of white powder – believed to be cocaine. He is also heard complaining that he struggles to afford the £1,000 a month rent on his flat.

He is asked whether he receives expenses, and suggests that he gets a flat-rate allowance of £200 a day. In fact, the allowance for Lords is £300 a day, and did not apply to Sewel as he was a salaried member. 

He may have been talking about the officeholder’s allowance, which is worth £36,000 a year. He was entitled to this payment, which covers housing costs, because he had declared his main residence to be in Aberdeenshire.

Sewel was made a life peer by Mr Blair and helped push through an important convention relating to Scottish devolution. He is now non affiliated.

Before the new legislation of July 16, lords could only expel colleagues sentenced to more than a year in jail – or impose a suspension for the remainder of the parliamentary term.

But the new powers means suspensions can be imposed for any period and, for the first time, the upper house can boot out peers at will.

I just want to be led astray, Labour Lord begged his £200-a-night prostitutes

Hunched over a table with a rolled banknote stuffed up his nose, these pictures show Lord Sewel snorting a line of cocaine during an orgy with a pair of £200-a-night call girls.

The photos – from film secretly taken by the prostitutes at his flat near Parliament – lay bare the peer’s depravity.

The sequence begins with Sewel removing a blue packet of white powder from inside a drinks bottle.

The substance – believed to be the Class A drug cocaine – is then cut into neat lines on a table littered with wine glasses and cigarettes. 

Drugs: Lord Sewel, 69, removes a packet of white powder believed to be cocaine from a drinks bottle with a pile of rolled up bank notes in his Dolphin Square flat 

Drugs: Lord Sewel, 69, removes a packet of white powder believed to be cocaine from a drinks bottle with a pile of rolled up bank notes in his Dolphin Square flat 

Wearing his wedding ring and spectacles, the 69-year-old peer then bends forward and inhales deeply. ‘There we are,’ he says, leaning back and laying his £5 note back on the table.

The married father of four, is also seen downing champagne and vodka before snorting another line from one of the women’s breasts. Both call girls are 45 years his junior.

The two prostitutes handed their 45-minute footage to the Sun on Sunday and it is now at the centre of a police investigation.

A further extraordinary picture was published by the newspaper today, showing Sewel wearing the orange bra and leather jacket of one of the prostitutes.

His sex party kicked off at 10pm last Wednesday when, wearing just a towel, he answered the door of his studio flat in Pimlico, to the two women.

‘Bloody hell I’d given up. S***. Bloody hell you’re late,’ he says, before smacking one of them on the bottom and declaring: ‘Happy days are here again.’

Inside the sparsely furnished studio apartment at the notorious Dolphin Square complex, the trio can been seen sitting round a table smoking and drinking.

In the background is an old-fashioned television, DVD player and a modest, single day bed.

When one of the women asks him ‘How bad do you want to be tonight then?’ Sewel replies: ‘I just want to be led astray’ before turning a framed photo of his wife, Jennifer, 54, face down on a table.

He allegedly snorts three lines of cocaine even though he claims to be ‘taking it easy’ because of a blood test the next day.

The video was filmed in Nelson House in Dolphin Square, which lies in the shadow of Westminster
The photos – from film secretly taken by the prostitutes at his flat near Parliament (pictured) – lay bare the peer’s depravity

Sex party: The video was filmed in Nelson House in Dolphin Square, which lies in the shadow of Westminster

Sewel begins the night by saying: ‘What shows up in blood tests? I can’t do substances because it can kill me.’ One of the girls says: ‘You were really naughty the other night. You really, really were.’ He responds: ‘I know.’

As the three chat in his studio, Sewel can be heard asking: ‘What about trying the big one?’ One of the girls replies: ‘What’s the big one?’

Sewel, who at this point is wearing an open-collar shirt and beige trousers, says: ‘Um, it comes in a can and it’s got, has it got Pepsi?

‘No, it’s not Pepsi, it’s another word rather than Pepsi cola. It’s Coca-Cola – forget the Cola.’ This is an obvious reference to the slang term for cocaine, ‘coke’. ‘So you want to get some coke?,’ one of the women asks. ‘Well, I mean, if people would enjoy a little,’ he replies, gesturing and wandering around the room.

He can then be seen sitting down at the table and pulling out a small blue package containing white powder from the top of a soft drinks bottle. A cigarette in hand, he unwraps the package while moaning about receiving only a £200-a-day allowance for attending the House of Lords.

One of the call girls then cuts the powder into neat lines and he says: ‘I’ll only have the smallest’ before launching into a rant about how he usually takes his drugs with a £10 banknote.

‘Have you ever noticed before, when this has occurred previously, I have provided usually a ten pound note?’ he asks. ‘It’s rolled up and so in the morning at least I’ve got enough to buy me some breakfast. The rolled-up note disappears, it goes.’

When one of the women asks if he is accusing them of theft, Sewel replies: ‘Yes.’

One of the prostitutes then calls his line ‘ridiculously big’ but Sewel replies ‘I’ll do that.’ He can then be seen, hunched over a dining table with a rolled-up £5 note in his left hand – his wedding ring on display – sniffing the white powder up his left nostril.

Sewel, who is Chairman of the Privileges and Conduct committee, announced the House of Lords' (file photo) new powers to expel Lords if they breached the code of conduct. He may now be expelled under his own rules

Sewel, who is Chairman of the Privileges and Conduct committee, announced the House of Lords’ (file photo) new powers to expel Lords if they breached the code of conduct. He may now be expelled under his own rules

‘There we are’ he says afterwards, leaning back in his chair. In a shocking racist outburst, Sewel, who has two children and two stepchildren, then starts moaning that he does not have any ‘nice little young Asian’ women at the party. ‘They sort of look innocent but you know they’re whores,’ he says before laughing and adding: ‘That’s a really nice combination isn’t it?’

‘Oh, we could do with some nice little young Asian lady tonight I would’ve thought. But never mind.’

One of the women asks the peer: ‘What is your deal with the Asian ladies? What do you like about them?’ He replies: ‘Well, I don’t know. As I go around London on the Tube from time to time, I think that they’re slim. Many of them are quite attractive I thought. Not that I’ve ever sort of dabbled.’

He then appears to snort another line off the table before stripping off and parading around the small flat. Minutes later, he is seen lying naked on the bed and calls one of the women over. He then pulls down her top and snorts another line off her breast before stroking and pawing at both women. The video shows Sewel sitting back with the rolled-up banknote still up his nostril.

He pays one of the women £200 in cash. Still pictures from the footage show him sitting topless at the table writing out a £200 cheque to the other woman.

EX-BLAIR CRONY WHO MARRIED THREE TIMES: THE LIFE OF LORD SEWEL

Baron Sewel insisted on turning a framed photo of his wife face-down during his sex games with two call girls, it is alleged.

The thrice-married peer, 69, also kept his wedding ring on while snorting drugs during sex sessions at the London flat he jointly leases with his third wife, Jennifer, aged 54.

The couple, who live in Aberdeen, married in 2005. A former civil servant, Lady Sewel is now a director at Aberdeen University.

Her bespectacled husband has seemingly enjoyed a colourful love life.

Lady Jennifer
Baron John Sewel, who has been married three times, apparently insisted on turning a framed photograph of his third wife Lady Jennifer face-down before engaging in the alleged drug-fuelled sex romp

Baron John Sewel (right), who has been married three times, apparently insisted on turning a framed photograph of his third wife Lady Jennifer (left) face-down before engaging in the drug-fuelled sex romp

He married his first wife, Rosemary Langeland, now 69, in Malvern, Worcestershire, in 1968, and the couple went on to have two children, Thomas, 38, and Kate, 36. In 1988, Sewel married second wife Leonora Harding, 70, a clinical psychologist, in Aberdeen.

He lives with his third wife at a £1.2million home in the town of Banchory, 18 miles west of Aberdeen.

His wife’s two children from a previous marriage appear to have taken Sewel’s name. A woman who answered the door at the Banchory house yesterday said the couple were in London.

Until yesterday’s revelations, Lord Sewel was a respected academic and politician instrumental in helping Tony Blair push through Scottish devolution. In 1997 the then prime minister made him a Labour minister for Scotland to help draft plans for the new Scottish Parliament.

This is how he gave his name to so-called Sewel Motions, which dictate that the national Parliament cannot pass laws affecting Scotland without the Scottish government’s agreement.

After guiding the Scotland Act through he failed to win a seat in the Scottish parliament. He was dropped from government and left to languish in the House of Lords.

In an interview he once joked that even his mother wanted him to get a ‘proper job’. ‘I’ve been an academic and a politician all my life. But even when I became a lord my mum used to say, ‘Why can’t you get a proper job?’ ‘

Family home: Sewel lives with his third wife at this £1.2million house in Banchory, 18 miles west of Aberdeen

Family home: Sewel lives with his third wife at this £1.2million house in Banchory, 18 miles west of Aberdeen

In 2012 he was made chairman of committees, responsible for overseeing standards of behaviour among peers.

He recently announced new powers to expel peers if they misbehave. Ironically, these same rules could now be used to banish him. Writing about these changes on the Huffington Post website this month, he said; ‘The actions of a few damage our reputation. Scandals make good headlines.

‘All members now sign a declaration to obey the code and the seven principles of public life. The requirement that members must always act on their personal honour has been reinforced.

‘No system of regulation can be perfect, but the House of Lords has come a long way since 2010 in improving its regulation of its members and punishing the small number who misbehave. 

Today’s new sanctions strengthen the regime further.’ The peer was born John Buttifant Sewel in Hackney, East London, in 1946. His parents, Leonard and Hilda, were social workers.

He studied politics and sociology at Durham University and carried out research at Swansea University before joining Aberdeen University as a professor.

He became involved with the local Labour Party and was on Aberdeen District Council for ten years from 1974, three as Labour leader.

He went on to become vice principal and dean of the faculty of social sciences and law at Aberdeen University and was made a Labour peer in 1995.

How disgraced peer savaged top politicians branding Cameron ‘superficial’, Boris ‘an upper class twit’ and Salmond a ‘pompous prat’

Lord Sewel turned on Britain’s top politicians after his cocaine-fuelled session with £200-a-night prostitutes, it was revealed today.

The disgraced peer was filmed drinking vodka as he told the sex workers that David Cameron is branded ‘the most facile, superficial Prime Minister there’s ever been’.

He added: ‘He just shoots from the hip. He is false. He makes one-off commitments and cannot deliver’.

Verdicts: Sewel said David Cameron is ‘the most facile, superficial Prime Minister there’s ever been’ and Boris Johnson is ‘a joke’ and a ‘public school upper class twit’

Critical: Sewel then went on to call former First Minister Alex Salmond as a 'silly, pompous prat'

Critical: Sewel then went on to call former First Minister Alex Salmond as a ‘silly, pompous prat’

The conversation was captured on camera at Lord Sewel’s flat in Dolphin Square, Pimlico, a couple of miles from Parliament. 

A bottle of what appears to be vodka sits on the table while Lord Sewel drinks from a glass at various points during his conversation with the women.

He labels Mayor of London Boris Johnson ‘a joke’ and a ‘public school upper class twit’.

He said: ‘Can you present Boris Johnson in Preston, in Burnley, in Manchester? No, they just think he’s an a******’.

He said that Scottish MP and former First Minister Alex Salmond as a ‘silly, pompous prat’, in footage from The Sun.

He said: ‘I saw him on a flight recently and the sill pompous prat was holding court’.

Asked by one of the women, whose voice is disguised, about former Labour prime minister Tony Blair’s decision to go to war in Iraq, Lord Sewel says the ex-party leader did so ‘because he fell in love with George Bush’.

He said his former boss has made ‘lots and lots of money’ since leaving office and believe his wife Cherie is the driving force behind it.

He said: ‘He’s made tens of millions. I think it is a very strange relationship between him and Cherie. She is very ambitious. She is the one obsessed with money’. 

The newspaper also reports that Lord Sewel said the Labour leadership race is ‘in a f****** mess’.

He called Jeremy Corbyn ‘a romantic idiot’, the paper said, adding: ‘This guy is in favour of immigration, high welfare spending. He’s a typical romantic idiot. Useless’.

He claimed Andy Burnham has been ‘terribly contradictory’ and ‘goes whichever way the wind is blowing’.

Damning: Sewel, who helped Tony Blair with Scotland's devolution, said the candidates for the Labour leadership election 'an absolutely hopeless set of choices'

Damning: Sewel, who helped Tony Blair with Scotland’s devolution, said the candidates for the Labour leadership election ‘an absolutely hopeless set of choices’

His judgement of Yvette Cooper was that she is ‘okay but not strong’, while he appeared to forget Liz Kendall’s name, describing her as ‘a Blair supporter who is just too naive’.

And on the election in general he said: ‘So, an absolutely hopeless set of choices. There’s nobody bright enough, or who has the leadership qualities, to bring it off.’ 

He also said Labour needed to ‘minimalise the influence’ of the unions, including Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite, who he regards as a ‘f****** idiot’.

 He added he believed ‘consummate politician’ George Osborne will be the next Prime Minister.

Xmas Holidays

Jeremy Corbyn with Tom Watson as his deputy would make Labour the Tom and Jerry party

By

Stephen Pollard For The Mail On Sunday


Published:
19:41 EST, 25 July 2015

|
Updated:
05:49 EST, 26 July 2015

Cartoons aren’t usually the best guide to politics. No one looks to Road Runner for guidance on transport policy. And Mary, Mungo And Midge isn’t much of a primer for family policy.

But it now looks as though the most classic cartoon series of them all is going to prove the exception.

Because if you want a guide to how the Labour Party is going to operate when it elects its new leadership on September 12, you could do worse than watch Tom And Jerry.

If the polls are right, the next leader of the Labour Party is going to be Jeremy Corbyn, and his deputy Tom Watson – that’s Tom and Jerry.

According to a YouGov poll of people with a vote in the Labour leadership election, a man who calls Hamas terrorists ‘friends’, who thinks we should nationalise the banks, who believes profit is a dirty word, and who makes Greece’s Syriza party seem rational is about to win the Labour leadership.

If the polls are right, the next leader of the Labour Party is going to be Jeremy Corbyn (left), and his deputy Tom Watson (right) – that's Tom and Jerry, according to political biographer Stephen Pollard
If the polls are right, the next leader of the Labour Party is going to be Jeremy Corbyn (left), and his deputy Tom Watson (right) – that's Tom and Jerry, according to political biographer Stephen Pollard

If the polls are right, the next leader of the Labour Party is going to be Jeremy Corbyn (left), and his deputy Tom Watson (right) – that’s Tom and Jerry, according to political biographer Stephen Pollard

'He [Corbyn] is now a near-certainty to become deputy leader, and Labour to be ruled by its own Tom and Jerry,' writes Pollard

‘He [Corbyn] is now a near-certainty to become deputy leader, and Labour to be ruled by its own Tom and Jerry,’ writes Pollard

If that really does happen, it’s not merely that Labour would not stand any chance of winning the 2020 Election, it’s that the party would probably cease to exist, at least in anything resembling its present form.

No wonder Tony Blair was so utterly scathing last week about those who support Mr Corbyn: ‘When people say, ‘My heart says I should really be with that politics,’ well, get a transplant.’

It’s not as if Mr Blair knows much about how Labour can make itself electable, after all. It was only three landslide victories that he won.

But although the party’s impending Corbyn nightmare may be less than 50 days away, there’s another aspect to the leadership contest that has received almost no attention but is, in its own way, almost as awful a prospect.

The same poll that showed Corbyn ahead on 43 per cent of the votes, with Andy Burnham on just 26 per cent and the other two candidates even further behind, also looked at the deputy leadership contest.

And that poll revealed Tom Watson is on 42 per cent, miles ahead of fellow MP Stella Creasy on 21 per cent.

You might not think that the deputy leadership matters all that much. But in politics it’s the fixers who operate behind the scenes who are often the most powerful figures. Sometimes they exercise that power for good or for their boss; usually they use it for their own ends.

Corbyn (pictured) described the Hamas terror group as his 'friends' and thinks we should nationalise the banks

Corbyn (pictured) described the Hamas terror group as his ‘friends’ and thinks we should nationalise the banks

The American version of the BBC drama House Of Cards is about a vice-president played by Kevin Spacey who plots and manoeuvres his way to power. The president is effectively there in name only, as the Machiavellian wiles of his deputy run rings round him.

Life may not imitate art, but art can certainly illustrate life – and the combination of Tom and Jerry will be toxic for Labour.

For most of his career, Tom Watson was the epitome of the smoked-filled room operator who rarely emerged from the shadows. In recent years he has been a much more public figure.

He has – rather admirably – pushed the issue of child abuse, highlighting in Parliament allegations of an Establishment paedophile ring and helping force an inquiry. But it was as a member of the Culture Select Committee that he made his real impact, pushing the issue of phone hacking.

There does, however, appear to be a more sinister side to his view of the press – his views go beyond simply clearing up and punishing criminal behaviour. Mr Watson supports the Royal Charter that would, in effect, censor the press, and turn a vibrant, effective and campaigning industry into a docile shadow of what a free press really means.

But for all the public campaigns, the word fixer might have been coined just to describe Tom Watson, a man who lives and breathes political plots.

As a former trades union organiser, who once shared a flat with Len McCluskey – the Unite boss whose union gives more money to Labour than any other donor and who behaves as if the party is his personal fiefdom – Tom Watson has plotted and fixed for his entire working life.

According to a YouGov poll of people with a vote in the Labour leadership election, Corbyn (left) is will be the party's next leader - beating the likes of Andy Burnham (right) and Yvette Cooper (second from left)

According to a YouGov poll of people with a vote in the Labour leadership election, Corbyn (left) is will be the party’s next leader – beating the likes of Andy Burnham (right) and Yvette Cooper (second from left)

But at first sight his record appears to be one of almost total incompetence. In 2006, he resigned as a Minister in order to call for Tony Blair to quit so that Mr Watson’s man, Gordon Brown, could take the helm.

Mr Watson had long been one of the agitators who worked unofficially for Brown to undermine Blair. After he resigned, it emerged that he had visited Brown at his home in Scotland, just before stepping down. He denied any plot – somehow keeping a straight face as he did so.

Under Ed Miliband, he was made campaign organiser, in which job he managed to lose one of the party’s safest seats, Bradford West, to George Galloway.

And then he was forced to resign in a scandal over the selection of a candidate in Falkirk, as Unite was accused of hijacking the process to impose its favourite – who happened to be Mr Watson’s office manager. In his resignation letter he wrote that some in the party had not forgiven him for resigning in 2006, and added: ‘I fully accept the consequences of that decision and hope my departure allows the party to move on.’

Move ON! He is now a near-certainty to become deputy leader, and Labour to be ruled by its own Tom and Jerry. If you recall, every Tom And Jerry cartoon is a variation of the same plot. And that plot is not so much a metaphor for Labour under Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn as something that will come to be seen as a piece of contemporary history.

Tom the cat chases Jerry the mouse. Wily Tom comes up with all sorts of plots and manoeuvres to trap Jerry, who is something of an innocent.

For all Tom’s tricks, Jerry manages to cling on to life – and Tom never gets his way. But in trying, the two of them get into all sorts of scrapes. Utter disaster is always imminent.

As for the grown-ups – the adults who could put a stop to all this chaos if they chose to –they’re just not involved.

We sometimes see their legs or their shadows, so we know they do actually exist. But they might as well not be there, since they have no impact on the chaos that Tom and Jerry keep causing in their house.

And then, at the end, when Tom and Jerry have done their worst, the whole show stops. Finished. It’s over. They’ve reached the point of no return.

As the classic finale to many cartoons of that era put it: ‘That’s all, folks!’

Xmas Holidays

It’s David Cameron’s summer BBQ with Labour on the grill says JAMES FORSYTH

By

James Forsyth for The Mail on Sunday


Published:
20:03 EST, 25 July 2015

|
Updated:
05:46 EST, 26 July 2015

On Wednesday, David Cameron got the entire Cabinet, plus Boris Johnson, down to Chequers for an end-of-term catch-up. After the formal session in the morning, he invited everyone to eat outside.

The lunch was a chance to show off one of Cameron’s most prized possessions – the Obama BBQ.

The £1,300 gift from the President is even personalised with a Union Jack and a Stars and Stripes. But just as everyone was scoffing their lamb burgers, sausages and salad, a rainstorm sent them scurrying back inside.

‘We mustn’t believe Corbyn’s going to win.We must believe the madness will pass,' one aide said

‘We mustn’t believe Corbyn’s going to win.We must believe the madness will pass,’ one aide said

It takes more than a little downpour to dampen Tory spirits these days, however. Ten minutes later, they were back outside in the sun for their strawberries and cream and basking in the warm glow of Labour in meltdown.

 
 

More from James Forsyth for The Mail on Sunday…

For the Opposition are in the middle of the most disastrous leadership contest in living memory. Tories can barely contain their glee that the shock new frontrunner is Jeremy Corbyn, a throwback to the days of the loony Left.

‘Nobody can quite believe it’, one Secretary of State tells me.

As the assembled Ministers discussed a presentation on the Labour leadership race from Downing Street aide Adam Atashzai, they tried desperately to keep their feet on the ground.

‘We mustn’t believe Corbyn’s going to win. We must believe the madness will pass,’ one told me, adding: ‘We’ve got to assume that the next leader will be Andy [Burnham] or Yvette [Cooper] and plan on that basis.’

‘Total utter terror’ is how one veteran Labour campaigner sums up the mood in his party.

He warns that defeating Corbyn ‘isn’t about saving the next Election. It is about the Labour Party’s very existence’. Why are Labour in a blind panic? Because the possibility of a Corbyn victory is all too real.

‘It is a two-horse race and it is going to be close,’ concedes one confidant of the previous frontrunner Burnham.

In fact, it may already be too late to stop Corbyn, according to one of those who has helped run a previously successful Labour leadership campaign. ‘There is not much time on the clock to make up a lot of ground on a popular frontrunner,’ warns the source, pointing out that the ballot papers go out in just three weeks.

‘It is a total mistake to say this will go away because it has to.’

Corbyn’s rivals are desperately hoping the darling of the Left won’t be able to survive the scrutiny that is coming his way. But even if he falls at the last, the Corbyn phenomenon is doing real damage to the party.

One Cameron ally argues that it says something about today’s Labour Party that there will be ‘more votes for the candidate who is pro-Hamas than pro-business’. And as the row over welfare shows, the Corbyn tendency is dragging the party ever further from the Centre ground.

As the other candidates desperately try to shore up their Left flanks, the Tories are taking careful note of everything they say.

‘Certain loose words that have been used, we can hang round their necks,’ crows one Tory.

But most worrying of all for Labour is the failure of the other candidates to put Corbyn to the sword. Corbyn is no Tony Benn. He isn’t a charismatic orator or a brilliant media performer. He’s a bog-standard, old-fashioned, dyed-in-the-woolly-beard Left-winger. But he’s still running rings around them. If Burnham and Cooper can’t rally their own party behind them, what chance do they have of winning over the country?

…But guess who ended up sitting next to Theresa

Boris was put next to Home Secretary Theresa May, who had humiliated him in the Commons earlier this month

Boris was put next to Home Secretary Theresa May, who had humiliated him in the Commons earlier this month

Boris Johnson’s invitation to the Cabinet get-together at Chequers was meant to be an olive branch from Downing Street to the London Mayor after a difficult few weeks.

But whoever was doing the seating plan was in a mischievous mood. Boris was put next to Home Secretary Theresa May, who had humiliated him in the Commons earlier this month with her announcement that she would not allow the Metropolitan Police to use his water cannon.

Boris, pictured left with Mrs May, took this in good humour, I’m told, quipping that everyone might need hosing down.

But relations are so sensitive that David Cameron’s team went out of their way to stress they weren’t in charge of the placement. They pointed the finger at a civil servant with a rather wicked sense of humour.

As David Cameron heads to the Far East to promote British goods, he’ll fly the flag in a rather unprepossessing jet.

I’m told that Downing Street looked into hiring a rather more luxurious aircraft with a special executive section, but they were beaten to all the available ones by the Premier League football teams heading east on their pre-season tours.

It’s a reminder for Cameron, if he needed one, that there are a fair few Premier League exports who can command a bigger audience than he can.

Lynton Crosby masterminded the Tories’ first outright Election victory in 23 years, but he isn’t done yet. On Monday, he turned up in Parliament’s Portcullis House to tell Tory MPs why people had voted for them.

In a demonstration of his influence, the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Chief Whip all turned out to hear his latest poll findings.

First, he pointed out that only one in ten voters had backed the Tories because of the local candidate, and a far higher number did so because of Tory policies. In other words, MPs shouldn’t forget what got them to the Commons in the first place. Crosby then set out what the voters remember the Tories talking about. The economy was top of the list, followed closely by Europe. He said voters associated the Tories with ‘performance measures’ such as managing the economy and competence.

So far, so reassuring. But it was the next slide that had MPs squirming. Crosby asked voters what Tory promises they remember and the most popular was ‘controlling immigration’.

Oh dear. This is what the Tories spectacularly failed to do in the last Parliament.

It was a timely reminder why David Cameron needs to make regaining control of our borders part of the EU renegotiation.

Or, as a straight-talking Aussie like Crosby might say: ‘It’s time to get a bloody grip, mate.’

Quotes of the Week 

‘When people say, ‘My heart says I should be with that politics’, well get a transplant.’

Tony Blair warns that Labour risks being out of power for years if it elects Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

‘It could have been a lot worse.’

Tracey Leach, after her son Brock, 14, survived a 100ft cliff fall AND being bitten by an adder in Cornwall.

‘It does my nut in. You’re on the phone and you have to get your sentences out between bongs.’

SNP’s Mhairi Black has only been an MP for two months and is already irritated by Big Ben.

‘We don’t have recipes in it for falafel or anything like that.’

Actress Tilda Swinton - famous for her porcelain skin, has a tandoori tan, in her latest film role

Actress Tilda Swinton – famous for her porcelain skin, has a tandoori tan, in her latest film role

‘This woman looks like a lot of women I pass in the street every day – tandoori tan, the eye make-up and hair. But for me that look is extreme.’

Actress Tilda Swinton – famous for her porcelain skin – is unrecognisable in her latest film role. 

Simon Keegan, of online magazine Martial Arts Guardian, is bemused by The Guardian newspaper’s claim that readers might confuse the two publications.

‘Today the Earth is a little less lonely because there’s a new kid on the block.’

Nasa analyst Jon Jenkins, as scientists discover an Earth-like planet – a mere 1,400 light years away.

‘The studded leather mini-dress looked good from a distance… of, say, 200 miles. Up close it would frighten a gargoyle.’

Writer Kathy Lette, recalls one of her fashion disasters.

‘DNP: do not purchase, do not partake, do not please, death’s not pleasant.’

Fiona Parry, whose daughter Eloise, 21, died after an accidental overdose of diet pill DNP.

‘We had to choose between plague and cholera.’

Finnish politician Tino Soini explains why his country backed another bailout for Greece.

‘She is probably thinking, ‘If this goes in I’ll get a new kitchen.’ 

Golf commentator Peter Alliss sparks a sexism row with his remarks about Kim Barclay, below, the wife of The Open winner Zach Johnson.

Golf commentator Peter Alliss sparked a sexism row with his comments about Open Winner Zach Johnson's wife Kim Barclay

Golf commentator Peter Alliss sparked a sexism row with his comments about Open Winner Zach Johnson’s wife Kim Barclay

 

 

 

Xmas Holidays

Is Emily Thorne sure she wants to be the 4th Mrs Tom Cruise?

<!–

  • Emily Thorne, 22, is the personal assistant of movie star Tom Cruise
  • Said to have captivated the star so much that he is preparing to propose
  • Only started working for Cruise last year on the set of Rogue Nation

By

Tom Leonard In New York For The Daily Mail


Published:
18:50 EST, 24 July 2015

|
Updated:
03:12 EST, 25 July 2015

Lookalike loves: Cruise pictured with Emily Thorne, 22

Lookalike loves: Cruise pictured with Emily Thorne, 22

The constant clash of huge egos, the stress of hectic schedules and the long hours spent standing around waiting on petulant actors — the film industry’s a tough enough place to work at the best of times.

But spare a thought this weekend for the friends and family of Emily Thomas, a young British production assistant who’s reportedly in the running for the starring role of a lifetime.

Industry insiders say the pretty 22-year-old personal assistant to Tom Cruise has so captivated the 53-year-old Mission: Impossible star that he is about to propose marriage to her.

The attentions of one of the world’s most powerful movie stars could go to any young woman’s head, especially one who may want to get ahead in an industry where the thrice-divorced Cruise has long been treated as a god. But one wonders whether her nearest and dearest would share any excitement over such a star-studded match.

Sequels can always be hit and miss, but history would suggest that getting the lead role in ‘Mrs Tom Cruise IV’ may not be the happiest fate for any young woman. If it were a film, chances are it would be a harrowing psychological thriller rather than a breezy romcom.

Rumours have been circulating for months that the scarily focused Cruise had found in Miss Thomas the romance that has been absent from his life since he split up with previous wife Katie Holmes.

Emily is the sporty, privately-educated daughter of a millionaire British investment banker who was born in Hertfordshire and grew up in London. She is the middle child of Edward and Nicola Thomas and her family lives in a five-bedroom house worth around £1.2million in the village of Chipperfield, Hertfordshire.

She was educated at £4,000-a-term Abbot’s Hill girls’ school in Hemel Hempstead, before going to Aldenham School in Elstree which charges £10,000 a term.

Headmaster James Fowler described her as ‘a delightful girl’, saying: ‘She was from a very nice, supportive, very ordinary family.

‘I remember her as a popular, outgoing and engaging pupil who was liked by everyone. She was a very good student. Emily was a terrific sportswoman and she excelled particularly in athletics.

‘She left us after three years and went off to college and we are very pleased to see she is doing well.’

Emily started working for Cruise only last year as his on-set assistant for Rogue Nation, the fifth instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise. In photos of them together, they certainly seem to have a chemistry that one doesn’t always see in the relationship between superstar and general dogsbody.

It didn’t escape anyone — least of all Cruise, surely — what an uncanny resemblance Miss Thomas has to Katie Holmes. It’s not just the hazel eyes and brown hair — they have a similar-shaped face, eyes, nose, lips and eyebrows. Late last year came reports that Cruise had a ‘crush’ on her and was always flirting on set.

Emily was by his side again this year when he filmed Mena, a thriller about a drug smuggler who works as an informant for the CIA.

It’s fair to say that they have yet to be photographed exchanging any intimacies beyond a smile and a lingering glance. The Cruise camp has unofficially poured cold water on claims of a love affair, although there has been no formal comment. From Emily, embarrassingly the same age as Isabella — the daughter Cruise adopted with second wife Nicole Kidman — there hasn’t been a peep. And there may never be, say insiders.

For at times comic, at times tragic, but always ultimately toxic, Tom Cruise’s bizarre love life is an immensely sensitive issue. It’s not just that by all accounts he’s a little odd, it’s also because anyone who marries him is essentially also marrying his beloved Church of Scientology.

As celebrity figurehead of the controversial organisation, regarded in some countries as a dangerous cult, Cruise has always put his religion first and foremost in his private life — with dire consequences for the women he shared it with.

‘If you’re going to be with Tom Cruise, you’re going to be with Scientology,’ Tony Ortega, a veteran Scientology expert told me yesterday. ‘He lives with his sisters, who are Scientologists, and his adopted children, who are also Scientologists.’ Long-time Scientology watchers see the church’s controlling hand in talk of this new romance. They suspect Scientologists are encouraging speculation to distract attention from a new documentary, Going Clear, which makes a string of damning claims about the church and Cruise’s involvement with it.

With Rogue Nation coming out next week, Cruise can now expect to be peppered with questions about the romance in publicity interviews, rather than embarrassing ones about Scientology.

But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t fallen in love again. Few who have followed Cruise and Scientology are surprised by talk of another wedding.

The actor — who has a track record of proposing soon after meeting a woman — has not really been romantically linked to anyone since his acrimonious split from third wife Katie Holmes in 2012. That same year he was linked to 26-year-old Cynthia Jorge, a New York restaurant manager. But they insisted they were simply friends, and talk of romance soon fizzled out.

‘People who know him say Tom Cruise has a tough time being alone. He always wants to be in a relationship,’ said Mr Ortega. ‘I’m surprised that he’s been this long without someone.’

His church will also be keen on his remarrying. ‘It has some surprisingly conservative views on marriage and family,’ said Mr Ortega.

Fuelling his loneliness no doubt will be his separation from his daughter Suri, who now lives with her mother in New York and sees little of her father. Although the evidence suggests he is just as close to the church as ever, it was recently claimed Cruise was to leave Scientology so he can spend more time with Suri. Sources claimed that because the church had no control over her upbringing, they were close to declaring Suri a ‘suppressive person’ — essentially, a pariah who should be avoided.

If Cruise really has set his heart on Emily Thomas, Tinseltown insiders told me yesterday, it would illustrate how low his star has sunk in Hollywood. Not as a film star: he still pulls in the punters for his films, even if, at 53, he is looking a little long in the tooth for his action-packed roles.

No, say sources, the fact he is being romantically linked with his PA, a complete unknown, shows that the days when he could have his pick of Hollywood’s most glamorous actresses are over. He was married to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, as well as having affairs with Rebecca De Mornay, Cher and Penelope Cruz.

Senior Scientology defectors have claimed that in 2004, after Cruise split up from Cruz because she allegedly failed to embrace the religion, church leaders auditioned beautiful starlets to replace her. They included Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan and Kate Bosworth.

Emily Thorne
Katie Holmes

Miss Thorne, left, has been compared to Cruise’s fourth ex-wife, Katie Holmes, right


Look ethereal in an emerald gown like Katie

Amidst the fashion world’s current love-in with all things sheer and embroidered (we’re lookin’ at you, Beyoncé at the amFAR gala!) it’s refreshing to see a star opt for a simpler, more understated look.

Katie Holmes stood out in a simple, charmeuse silk slip of a gown. A custom-made number by Ralph Lauren, we can’t get enough of that rich olive-green hue which complements her dark tresses and olive skin tone to perfection.

Plus the high neck and silk-satin texture evokes the pared-back minimalist sheaths of the 90s. We know – something to come out of that era that we’re not sick of!

And while Katie’s gown is a one-of-a-kind creation (lucky thing!) you may be surprised to know the high street has some gorgeous silk-satin lookalikes.

We love this River Island slip of a dress or if you fancy a splurge head to Rosetta Getty at Net-A-Porter .

* PRICES MAY NOT BE AS ADVERTISED

…NOW GET A DRESS LIKE KATIE’S


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Cruise, it is claimed, allowed elders to summon the unwitting stars to read for a non-existent part in a Mission: Impossible film. Such was the pulling power of th Cruise brand.

If, as Hollywood sources argue, women stars now run screaming from any romantic connection to him, Cruise and his Scientology friends have only themselves to blame.

Mimi Rogers introduced the young actor to Scientology but their 1987 marriage lasted just two years.

According to former top Scientologist Marty Rathbun, the church had a hand in ending both the Rogers marriage and the next one, to Kidman. Both women, he said, made the fatal error of falling out with Scientology’s chief — and Cruise’s best friend — David Miscavige.

Rathbun says he personally took divorce papers to Rogers and told her that signing them was the best thing she could do for Scientology.

More startlingly, it is claimed in Going Clear that the church ‘drove a wedge’ between Cruise and Kidman, whom he married in 1990. Rathbun claims in the documentary that Miscavige ordered Kidman’s phone to be tapped and worked on turning the couple’s adopted children, Isabella and Connor, away from their mother. The church has rejected the charges, labelling Rathbun a disaffected former member.

In 2001, Cruise filed for divorce from Kidman, who had reportedly always been sceptical about Scientology. According to Going Clear, the Australian was labelled a ‘Potential Trouble Source’ by Miscavige after she persuaded her husband to distance himself from the church during their marriage.

For a period it seemed to work, says the documentary, as Cruise allegedly refused to return Miscavige’s calls while the couple were in the UK filming Eyes Wide Shut. Next came Penelope Cruz, Cruise’s co-star in the film Vanilla Sky. Again, when the relationship ended in 2004, interference from Scientologists was blamed. Miscavige, it has been alleged, regarded the Spanish star as ‘too Catholic’.

The alleged secret Scientology plot to find Cruise a girlfriend led to the notorious ‘auditions’ — both of stars and fellow Scientologists. They appeared to have found the next Mrs Cruise in British-Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi, a beautiful Scientologist. A brief relationship ended, it is claimed, after she offended Miscavige over dinner by not appearing to understand his southern accent.

Cruise’s six-year marriage to Katie Holmes from 2006 prompted some of his most alarming behaviour.

He declared his love for the actress on the Oprah Winfrey Show, jumping up and down on her sofa. Miscavige was best man at the wedding in a 15th-century castle in Italy. Holmes quickly understood what marriage to Cruise entailed. When she was conducting press interviews to promote her film Batman Begins, a Scientology handler would actually step in and answer questions. But, like Kidman, after initially embracing Scientology, Holmes later ran from it.

The break-up was dramatic stuff, it has since emerged. In 2012, she fled Los Angeles to New York — where divorce laws favour women more than they do in California — and filed for a divorce.

Friends said she feared Suri, who at six could be sent to a Scientology boarding school, might be abducted by Cruise. She even used a disposable mobile phone to keep in touch with her lawyers.

Tom Cruise pictured with former Dawson's Creek star Katie Holmes in happier times

Tom Cruise pictured with former Dawson’s Creek star Katie Holmes in happier times

He later admitted his religion had become an issue in their marriage. Holmes kept primary custody of Suri, whom she has raised as a Catholic.

Although a joint public statement claimed the couple had ‘respect for each other’s respective beliefs’, Holmes privately sought assurances nothing would happen to ‘alienate’ Suri from her when she is with her father. Reportedly restricted legally in what they can say, Cruise’s ex-wives have not commented about the role of Scientology in their marriages to the diminutive star.

Kidman still talks fondly of him as a husband, telling Vogue only this week her only real regret is that they didn’t have at least twice as many children before they split up.

Cruise, meanwhile, is said to be making wedding plans. He reportedly wants Suri to be a flower girl.

His adopted older children, a source told Star magazine, found it ‘strange’ that he wanted to marry someone so close in age to them.

‘But ultimately they love him and want him to be happy,’ they add.

As for his Scientology minders, they just want Cruise to be with a woman who doesn’t try to get in the way of his relationship with Miscavige, says Tony Ortega.

It doesn’t exactly add up to a barrel of fun for any woman ready to take the plunge. It simply beggars belief that any woman is mad enough to marry Tom Cruise.

As they read of the star’s romantic plans for young Emily Thomas, her friends and family must surely be hoping she has other ideas.

 

Xmas Holidays

Leeds police use blow torch to burn their way into a suspect’s house

  • Officers needed to get through steel security gate outside the front door 
  • Used the thermal lance heat and melt the gate to gain access to property 
  • Officers were said to have found a small cannabis growing set-up 
  • Police in Leeds, West Yorkshire, posted the video on their Facebook page  

By

Khaleda Rahman For Mailonline


Published:
11:30 EST, 24 July 2015

|
Updated:
03:03 EST, 25 July 2015

This is the moment the police turned up the heat on the war on drugs – literally.

Officers from West Yorkshire Police used a thermal lance – a tool that heats and melts steel – to break through a security gate outside the front door of a suspected drug dealers’ property.

The clip, filmed in Leeds, West Yorkshire, showed two officers melt the gate before another uses a battering ram to break down the door.

Scroll down for video 

It's heating up: This is the moment that police used a huge blow torch as they executed a drugs warrant

It’s heating up: This is the moment that police used a huge blow torch as they executed a drugs warrant

The thermal lance melted the steal security gate stopping officers getting to the front door of the property in Leeds. West Yorkshire

The thermal lance melted the steal security gate stopping officers getting to the front door of the property in Leeds. West Yorkshire

It was posted on Facebook alongside the message: ‘The war on drugs is heating up… literally. It takes more than a security gate to stop the police gaining entry.’ 

Sergeant James Banks, of the Leeds Inner East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: ‘Officers executed this drugs warrant in response to information from the community. 

‘A small cannabis growing set-up was discovered along with electronic scales and clip seal bags used in drug dealing. 

‘Our enquiries are ongoing to trace those involved. Drugs fuel crime and anti-social behaviour and the criminality associated with the supply of drugs has a really negative impact on our communities.’ 

Officers said 'it takes more than a security gate to stop the police gaining entry,' as they uploaded the video to Facebook

Officers said ‘it takes more than a security gate to stop the police gaining entry,’ as they uploaded the video to Facebook

Am officer used the blow torch or thermal lance was used to heat up and melt the steel security gate

Am officer used the blow torch or thermal lance was used to heat up and melt the steel security gate

 The bright yellow flame can be clearly seen as officers blast the hinges of the steel gate

 The bright yellow flame can be clearly seen as officers blast the hinges of the steel gate

Once the gate was removed officers were said to have found a small cannabis-growing set-up inside

Once the gate was removed officers were said to have found a small cannabis-growing set-up inside

He added: ‘We are determined to keep up the pressure on people who think they can get away with growing and dealing drugs in our communities and local people can continue to help us by passing on any information they have.’

 

 

 

 

Xmas Holidays

Victorian Homes Holiday Edition 1994, Happy Rudolph Day!!!

Happy Rudolph Day!!

It is July 25th and that means 5 more months to christmas!!!

This year, I will be part time and I have bowed out of all volunteer commitments that I had in the past so I will be free to decorate to my heart’s content!!

I am so looking forward to it!!

I plan to start posting here more often as we get closer to this year’s Christmas Season……..

Today, I will be featuring one of the many magazines that I collect……..

It is an oldie for sure…The Holiday Edition of Victorian Homes from 1994!!!

There are a lot of beautiful photos in it so I will let the pictures do the talking!!

Enjoy!!

I love an Old Fashioned Christmas and being a Victorian at Heart, I love this style of Christmas Decorating!!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do!

I keep several Trees up year round and decorate them for every Holiday and Season…….

Right now I have 2 Patriotic Trees in my Living Room……..

Click HERE to see……..

 Click HERE to see……

And I decorated a Tree for Summer in my Craft Room……..

Please click HERE to see my Summer Tree

A Debbie-Dabble Christmas

If you do not have a blog, PLEASE 
give me some way to reply to your comment, maybe by including your email in your comment.  If I can not find a way to
reach you, I will reply on the post where you commented so please check
back……

 I hope you will come by and visit  again!!

 And thanks to those who took the time out of their busy day to spend a little bit of time with me!!
 
Hugs,
Debbie

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Christmas Trees