ANDREW PIERCE: Bizarre moment semi-naked samba dancers attempt to interact with guests – who include Sir Keir Starmer – at gala for charity that helps female victims of violence
As if he hasn’t upset enough women with his attempts to define what a woman is, now Sir Keir Starmer is in danger of angering still more.
The Labour leader was present at a gala in London, organised by the Mayor of Camden, Nasim Ali, to raise money for Hopscotch Women’s Centre, a charity that helps female victims of violence.
The choice of entertainment, was, however, deemed less than fitting for the occasion.
It featured a troupe of statuesque samba dancers wearing colourful feather headresses and skimpy sequinned bikinis, who took to the stage and then proceeded to sashay around the dining room, encouraging civic leaders to join them.
The video of the proceedings is jaw-dropping, but that didn’t stop the Mayor of Hounslow, Labour councillor Raghwinder Singh Siddhu, praising the semi-naked dancers, describing their performance as ‘entertainment’ and ‘an excellent reason to raise money for charity Hopscotch’.
The samba dancers led a conga line of people across the room, weaving through the decorated tables at the dinner
Certainly, nobody looked more uncomfortable on the night than Labour’s equalities and women’s issues spokesperson Baroness Glenys Thornton, says Andrew Pierce
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer is shown how to gild a Coronation commemorative plate on April 28
Quite what the charity made of it is anyone’s guess. Its website says: ‘We envision a society where all women are empowered, connected, well and safe, so that they can achieve their full potential.’
Certainly, nobody looked more uncomfortable on the night than Labour’s equalities and women’s issues spokesperson Baroness Glenys Thornton — and who can blame her?
The story of how Tony Blair went from a peace-loving wannabe pop star student to war-mongering PM and a multi-millionaire in just a couple of decades has been set to music by the comedian Harry Hill.
Tony! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] is set to do a roaring trade at London’s Leicester Square Theatre.
I gather Blair has still not responded to the invite to attend. Can’t think why.
On a visit to the Vatican, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham presented Argentinian-born Pope Francis with a Man United shirt, which was signed by his countryman Lisandro Martinez, who is one of the club’s centre-backs.
Did anyone tell His Holiness that the football club’s nickname is The Red Devils?
Tory MP William Wragg, having announced an inquiry into Britain’s constitutional relationships with its overseas territories — by the Public Administration Committee that he chairs — took himself and four MPs to sunny Gibraltar on a ‘fact-finding mission’.
Nice work if you can get it.
Julian Clary was one of the many to share warm anecdotes about Len Goodman, the Strictly Come Dancing judge who died last week.
The comedian recalled: ‘When I was in the Strictly final, he said: “We’ve got two thoroughbreds and a Shetland pony.” ’ Clary was the pony.
David Miliband, Labour’s lost leader who started a new life in New York after his younger brother, Ed, beat him to the party leadership in 2010, says he’s not coming back.
David Miliband leaving the Royal Albert Hall in London after speaking at the Institute of Directors conference
Miliband, who runs the charity International Rescue Committee, says: ‘There’s no point pressing the rewind button and trying to play again to see if you get a different result on the action replay . . . I would torture myself if I spent time blaming Ed.’
There could be another factor behind his decision to stay in the U.S., of course — the little matter of his $1 million-plus salary.
Seventies chart-topper Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) has shared a ‘respectful message’ to King Charles, titled A Manifesto For A Good King.
The singer offers the monarch ten pieces of advice including: ‘Beware of negative people in your circle.’ Who could he be referring to? Prince Harry anyone?
Kemi no fan of mayoral hopeful
A former No. 10 adviser is emerging as a frontrunner to fight Sadiq Khan for the London mayoralty next year.
Samuel Kasumu, a former special adviser to Boris Johnson, has been endorsed by Tory heavyweights Priti Patel and Grant Shapps
But Kasumu may struggle to get backing from Kemi Badenoch, the Business and Trade Secretary seen by some as a future Tory leader
Samuel Kasumu, a former special adviser to Boris Johnson, has been endorsed by Tory heavyweights Priti Patel and Grant Shapps.
But Kasumu may struggle to get backing from Kemi Badenoch, the Business and Trade Secretary seen by some as a future Tory leader.
In a Zoom call with MPs during the pandemic in 2021, she said Kasumu had to be stopped from meddling in the work of Tony Sewell’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities — which concluded Britain was no longer ‘deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities’ — and alleged that he had ‘personally briefed against her to the media’.
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