Londoner's Diary: As tube wars rage, Stephen Bush puts reputation on the blue line

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In the quiet months of a parliamentary recess, what can political journalists and media pundits complain about? The city’s favourite Tube lines, of course. And it’s a debate that is raging with all the volume of a charging Central line train.

This week YouGov released the results of a vote for commuters’ favourite line. “YouGov is able to officially crown the Jubilee as the best on the Tube network,” it stated. “With 51 per cent of those who use the line saying that they like it, compared to only 6 per cent who say they do not.” The DLR was a close second. But if you thought an official poll would settle things, you’d be wrong. Twitter almost exploded with opinions, with Bakerloo, Metropolitan and Central loyalists defending their own.

It started with the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush, writing for its sister publication CityMetric. “Whatever the polls say, the Piccadilly is the best of all possible lines,” he wrote. “Thanks to the Eurostar station at King’s Cross and the airport at Heathrow, it’s the only line that can take you anywhere in the world.” But his piece, in turn, received ire. Bush attacks the Northern line, saying it covers “the most irredeemable stretch of south London”. “Oi!” shot back Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan. “Nothing wrong with Balham, great area.”

Another reader, a Metropolitan line fan, wrote to CityMetric threatening to unsubscribe. It later tweeted an apology: “We’d just like to make clear at this juncture that the terrible views do not reflect CityMetric editorial policy.”

All roads lead to Rome. All Piccadilly services lead everywhere else.

Henry Fraser, a former Saracens rugby hopeful paralysed in his teens, has a new book out, and has J K Rowling’s backing. “I first came across Henry’s story by chance,” she writes in the foreword of The Little Big Things, “I’d only visited the Saracens website to check the details of a fixture mentioned in a whodunnit I was writing.” Luckily, she returned to the book — 2015’s Career of Evil — eventually: its hero, Cormoran Strike, is a Saracens supporter.

Soubry rattles the moaning Brexiteers

Right-wing Eurosceptic MP Tim Loughton complains that “inveterate Remoaners” are emboldening the EU in Brexit negotiations. Interviewed by Alex Dean in this month’s Prospect, Loughton says that there are even members of his own side to blame. Well, actually, he just namechecks one. “Are there any of those in your own party? His reply was just one word: ‘Soubry’,” writes Dean.

Anna Soubry is the MP for Broxtowe, and has been vocal on her plans to go against the Conservative line and campaign against a hard Brexit. Good to see her getting under their skin. 

Quote of the day

Telling it like it is: Labour MP, Jess Philips (Photo by Nicola Tree/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

‘If you take your feminist cues from Saudi Arabia you’ve gone wrong’

After shadow minister Chris Williamson says proposals for women-only train carriages would be “worth consulting”, MP Jess Phillips, pictured, suggests the move could be regressive

Mirror messages from Sienna’s lippy friends

Miller reflects: Sienna Miller backstage at the Apollo (@Siennathings)

A glimpse backstage at the Apollo Theatre, courtesy of Sienna Miller. The actress is starring there in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and last night shared her motivation: a mirror of messages written in lipstick. They include “Tell the truth. Listen”, “I am determined to win!” and “Pussy power”. The perfect slogans for some pre-show reflection, but you can also spot some encouraging messages from her friends and young daughter Marlowe.

Miller continued the nightly catwalk from the stage door, this time in an eye-catching jacket. No lipstick on the collar, thank heavens — it’s all on the mirror. 

The elephant in the room: Tony Hadley (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

When Tony Hadley announced he was no longer a member of Spandau Ballet, New Romantics across the country couldn’t believe it was True. So it was with some sadness that The Londoner received an invitation to a September Q&A with the band — Gary and Martin Kemp, Steve Norman and John Keeble — to launch a film about the creation of their classic, Through the Barricades, which they are re-releasing. Hadley is front-and-centre on the cover. Maybe they could Photoshop him out?

Viscountess with vroom

Hit the road: Lady Weymouth gets her running shoes on (@Emma_Weymouth)

Run, Emma, run! Lady Weymouth, the Viscountess formerly known as Emma McQuiston, is getting her trainers on for a 6km charity run in the grounds of her Longleat estate. She shared this snap of herself on Twitter yesterday and looked positively gazelle-like. But can she beat the cheetahs?

“I’m counting down the days!” she writes on her blog. “I love the energy it brings to Longleat, the crowds are always so vibrant and motivated and colourful — it’s the perfect preview to our Festival of Light in November.”

The event, called Glow In The Park, will raise funds for charity Alabaré, which helps vulnerable people including the homeless and those struggling with mental health.

Tweet of the day

“Trump’s skin is so thin it’s a wonder his organs don’t fall out”American journalist Josh Tyrangiel makes light of how personally Donald Trump takes criticism.”

American journalist Josh Tyrangiel makes light of how personally Donald Trump takes criticism.

Gratitude of the day: firefighters who rescued 18 piglets from a fire in Wiltshire were later served them up as sausages as a thank you. They were, according to the fire chief, “fantastic”

Milla’s facing up to motherhood

Mamma Milla: Milla Jokovich after her daughter was finished with her (@millajokovich)

Parenthood can be a humbling experience, even for the rich and famous. Yesterday Resident Evil actress and model Milla Jovovich shared this image of herself after an afternoon with her daughter. “Today my two-year-old decided to use my face as a canvas for jelly stickers,” she wrote. “Don’t ever let them tell you motherhood ain’t glamorous!”

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