Londoner's Diary: Uncustomary attack on David Davis from his ex-aide

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Incoming from James Chapman, former chief of staff to David Davis at the Department for Exiting the European Union. 

This morning Davis had hoped to command the airwaves with his proposals on the customs union transition period but he’s been torpedoed on Twitter by Chapman, pictured. When asked to comment on Chapman on Good Morning Britain, Davis mused: “He did a great job as my chief of staff but even on the day he arrived at the DExEU he was a Remainer.” 

That prompted a flurry of tweets from Chappers. “Wish I could say the same for DD. He’s been working three-day weeks since day one.” When asked by The Londoner whether this was true, DExEU declined to comment on the issue. 

As Davis continued his tour of the airwaves, doing LBC and the Today programme, Chapman shadowed his every move. Chapman claimed Davis has Nigel Farage on speed-dial, and that he’d ask civil servants to programme the number. “They refused.” said Chapman. 

Chapman continued, claiming that Today presenter John Humphrys softballed interviews on Brexit and has a friendship with Davis. “He holidays with DD,” claimed Chapman. The editor of the Today programme, Sarah Sands, replied on Twitter that Chapman’s assertion was “not true” — Humphrys had never holidayed with Davis. 

An embattled press secretary at DExEU repeated that Chapman was a “very good chief of staff” but that they were a bit busy now with the customs paper to answer the detail on his queries.

Chapman, who is starting his own anti-Brexit party, provisionally called the Democrats, suggests they abandon  ship: “I say to my former colleagues @dexeugov — enough is enough. Please resign.” Will they follow this man overboard?

A new chapter for Nick Paget-Brown

Nick Paget-Brown, the former leader of Kensington and Chelsea council who quit in June following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, has chosen his next step. 

Paget-Brown’s LinkedIn page says he has established NPB Consulting, which promises “policy analysis, seminars, briefings and drafting assistance for organisations working with local authorities.” He initially listed the venture as 

PB Consulting but this has been amended, perhaps due to the fact that the name was already taken.

Paget-Brown’s profile continues to trumpet his skills in “team leadership”, “stakeholder engagement” and “strategic communications”. Not everyone would give him such an endorsement.

Quote of the Day

A distinguished Gentleman: Jacob Rees Mogg (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images) (Corbis via Getty Images)

‘The absurd Rees-Mogg always reminds me of a line in Le Carré: “He was a barmaid’s dream of a gentleman”.’

Author Robert Harris fears that Jacob Rees-Mogg’s leadership potential is a work of fiction

Calypso cricket takes over down Soho way

Sharing a joke at the 3rd Test match between England and West Indies at Bridgetown, Barbados: Sir Ian Botham and Sir Viv Richards

To Archer Street in Soho’s new Antigua Beach Shack pop-up last night, where West Indies cricket legends Sir Viv Richards, Sir Andy Roberts and Sir Curtly Ambrose remembered their glory days. Richards recalled playing for Somerset with Sir Ian Botham in Taunton after a night drinking together. “If you go out with Ian Botham you’re going to come back in a very bad shape,” he said. “The first ball, I just closed my eyes and swung the bat”.

Those familiar with the Taunton ground will know the river behind it: the ball landed in a dinghy with some fisherman in it. The crowds called for the ball back. “F off”, they replied. “This is the first catch we’ve had all day.”

The pen is mightier than the sword — so how best to oppose the “ban” of John Cleland’s racy novel Fanny Hill at Royal Holloway, University of London? Read it to the masses. 

Last night Rowan Pelling, editor of erotic magazine The Amorist, read a passage from the book as the credits rolled on Newsnight. “A lifetime’s ambition fulfilled,” Pelling tweeted. That should have given night owls a reason to go to bed. 

Poet’s parental guidance

A kind word never broke anyone’s mouth: Simon Armitage (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images) (Corbis via Getty Images)

Lauded poet Simon Armitage is interviewed in this month’s Oldie and explains that his parents don’t always give him a break.

Armitage was at a poetry festival recently, reading some of his odes for an audience of fans and his dear old mum and dad. Realising that the next poem on his list was littered with near-the-knuckle language, he offered a disclaimer. “I’d just like to warn my mum and dad, who are in the audience tonight, that my next poem features some words that you’ve most likely never heard before,” he said, with a sheepish grin.

At that, his father stood up. “Would those words be ‘thank you’, by any chance?’” 

Gift of the day:

Arriving to Southport Magistrates Court on April 18, 2016 in Southport, Queensland: Amber Heard and Ex Husband, Johnny Depp (GC Images)

actress Amber Heard, who had to apologise to Australia’s deputy PM Barnaby Joyce after illegally bringing her two dogs Down Under, offered to send him a crate of kiwi fruit after he was outed as being half New Zealander.

The joy of Mex is clear to see

Beautiful on the outside: Georgia May Jagger and Poppy DelevingneInstagram georgiamayjagger

There’s always time for another selfie. Yesterday Georgia May Jagger posted this shot with fellow model Poppy Delevingne, after a weekend celebrating Poppy’s sister Cara’s 25th. Guests included Adwoa Aboah and Mary Charteris. 

“What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico,” Jagger wrote. 

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