Only a few days out of a job, former Home Secretary Suella Braverman is already bolstering her fun-loving reputation. Her latest idea? Cancelling Christmas, at least for members of parliament. Following the Supreme Court judgment against the Rwanda deportation scheme that she championed in government, Braverman says MPs should pass emergency legislation over the Christmas break to get flights off the runway. “The Bill should be introduced by Christmas recess and Parliament should be recalled to sit and debate it over the holiday period,” she writes. When she was still in government, Braverman told this Diary column, “the Home Secretary never goes on holiday”, so it’s an easy ask for her. Will colleagues feel similarly nonchalant about festive voting? Writing in the Telegraph, Braverman says time is of the essence because stopping refugee arrivals on small boats is “an emergency” and should be treated as such.
Red faces at the Guardian over Osama 9/11 article
Embarrassment for the Guardian as it deletes an article by Osama bin Laden. The newspaper published bin Laden’s “Letter to America” shortly after the 9/11 attacks which he orchestrated and it became, for a time, the most-read article on the internet. It then slipped into obscurity until this week when American TikTok users rediscovered this dead sea scroll of international terrorism and began quoting it approvingly in relation to the Gaza war. “The transcript published on our website 20 years ago has been widely shared today on social media without its original context,” a spokesperson said yesterday, “therefore we have decided to take it down and direct readers to the news article that originally contextualized it instead”.
Straker in another social media squabble
TikTok chef-turned-restauranteur Thomas Straker is once again brushing off negative feedback. After sharing a chicken tikka masala recipe in his British Classics series on Instagram, Straker was told by some annoyed followers it is an Indian dish. He dealt with the backlash by searching “British national dish” on Google and posting a screenshot of the results (Masala, second only to fish and chips). Straker is usually insouciant in the face of criticism. Some were annoyed earlier this year when he posted a picture of his all-white, all-male kitchen team. “Calm down,” he said.
London lights up for Christmas
It’s only November but the festive social circuit is already going haywire. Last night theatre impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber switched on the lights at the Burlington Arcade Welcomes Christmas celebrations with the help of a plus-one, his pooch. Guests enjoyed the performance of seasonal classics Last Christmas and All I Want For Christmas by the About Revelation Gospel Choir. Meanwhile, at Banqueting House in Whitehall, former prima ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell hosted the Borne To Dance Gala in aid of a premature birth charity. Actors Tom Hiddleston and Zawe Ashton showed up in support of the cause. They became first-time parents at the start of this year. Over in Soho, presenter Laura Whitmore, comedian Jack Whitehall and model girlfriend Roxy Horner were at The Shipwrecked Tailors Fashion Show.