Catch up on the week

SUNDAYThe scientist at the centre of the "climategate" scandal revealed that he received death threats and contemplated suicide after leaked e-mails were seized on by sceptics. Professor Phil Jones called it his "David Kelly moment" – a reference to the scientist who killed himself over the Iraq dossier.


A top Scotland Yard officer was found guilty of threatening and falsely arresting a man in a petty row over money. Commander Ali Dizaei, 47, below, was convicted of misconduct and perverting the course of justice at Southwark Crown Court. A jury found he attacked Iraqi Waad al-Baghdadi before arresting and attempting to frame him.


Beleaguered Japanese motor company Toyota suffered further embarrassment when it ordered a recall of 8,500 cars in the UK due to a brake problem. The UK recall of the Prius hybrid cars is part of a 400,000-vehicle recall worldwide. The firm had already recalled seven million vehicles globally, including 180,000 in the UK.


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The taxpayer is not getting value for money for the 269 million annual spend by the Foreign Office on embassies and other overseas properties, said spending watchdog the National Audit Office.


A jealous woman who laced her former lover's curry with poison was given a life sentence for his murder. Lakhvir Singh, 45, was told she would serve a minimum of 23 years after she was convicted yesterday of poisoning Lakhvinder "Lucky" Cheema and his fiance Gurjeet Choongh.


The extent of Eurostar failures and the "appalling" conditions hundreds of its passengers endured while trapped on broken trains in the Channel Tunnel were highlighted in a report into the pre-Christmas travel chaos. The report said Eurostar had not prepared for the snow-ingestion which caused five trains to break down and had to "improvise" as it had no plan to deal with such an emergency.


Joan Collins

La Collins is now 76 but she is now back in the limelight as the new face of a jewellery line, fetchingly named "Superbitch" and inspired by the Dynasty character, Alexis Carrington, she played so well. She denies plastic surgery but confesses to a little airbrushing in glamorous images that take – many – years off her age.


Vernon Kay

The TV presenter branded himself "stupid" after admitting sending explicit texts to around five women. Kay said he had "let down" his wife, Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly, and their two young daughters. The All Star Family Fortunes said: "Tess is extremely upset about this and we're working through it."

What the papers said… about an Appeal Court ruling that exposed alleged MI5 collusion in the US torture of terrorism suspects

The Daily Telegraph: This poses difficult questions about how a liberal democracy is supposed to protect itself from people who do not play by the rules. If the judicial establishment – egged on by the human rights lobby – routinely thwarts the security services in their vital work, we must accept that the public's safety may well be compromised.

Daily Mail: Let us spell out that torture is the very antithesis of the values that define us as a civilised people. It can never be justified. Not even in the context of Binyam Mohamed's arrest in 2002, when the world was reeling from the destruction of the Twin Towers and terrified more atrocities were imminent.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Times: Effective opposition to terrorism will sometimes need exceptional measures. Torture cannot be one of them, because it damages the society that practises it as well as those who suffer it.

"I love sexuality. I love the art of sexuality. I love Lady Gaga and the performance of sexuality."

Dame Helen Mirren

"Beautiful people should have the decency to breed with ugly people so the offspring have got at least a 50-50 chance of having nice personalities."

Entertainer Frank Skinner

"It seems the Private Eye's circulation figures are a bit like John Terry's shorts. In the past they may have been down, now they are firmly up again."

Ian Hislop, editor of the Eye, on the paper's success on the newsstands

"Clearly, David Cameron drove a wrecking ball through the consensus on care – not to help the older people of this country but to indulge in playground politics."

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson on the row over long-term care for the elderly

"A big, fat wide-boy liar."

Brigitte Bardot, denying a claim by the French politician Patrick Balkany that he slept with the actress at the height of her fame

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"If you look back and if you build your present just thinking about the past, you can't deal with the future."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

"We don't cook any more. With a culture of winning, and winning at any cost, we don't have time to cook. It is not a priority.

Top chef Raymond Blanc on changing French habits.


16 March, 1969 – 11 February, 2010

The tragic designer will be remembered as one of the contemporary "greats" of the fashion world.

Four times named British Designer of the Year, his body was discovered at his 1 million flat in London's West End last week, on the eve of the funeral of his mother.

The editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, called the 40-year-old son of an London cabbie a "modern-day genius".


Some things in life should be untouchable and one of them is a pristine, white sand beach on a remote Hebridean island. But the calm of Tiree has been shattered by the un-neighbourly theft of sand from a beach on land owned by the Duke of Argyll.

Given the expense of importing sand for the building trade, some enterprising individuals have taken to lifting tons of sand from the Duke's estate in midnight raids and using them for their own purposes.

The duke's factor, Andrew Montgomerie, has warned in the island newsletter: "I am aware of the culprits and of those using this material, and if you are intent in carrying on, I will have no option but to prosecute."


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At his lunchtime Scotland on Sunday lecture in association with Fleishman-Hillard, David McLetchie, the Tory's election co-ordinator for Scotland, made a very interesting case for why the Conservatives could outperform the SNP in the general election and also how his party had grasped the need for democratic reform in the UK. He argued that in a number of seats the Conservatives in Scotland are well placed and that in previous UK elections they have been very close to the SNP. The divergence in voter behaviour for Holyrood and Westminster means the Conservatives could very well outperform Alex Salmond's Nationalists.

The UK party leader, David Cameron gave a rousing keynote speech reiterating that the Conservatives are the only party who can deliver change.


Respected Glasgow City Councillor Alex Dingwall has decided to join the Liberal Democrats

I'm sure that he'll find a warm welcome and will be a great asset to Katy Gordon's campaign to win Glasgow North at the general election. She has known him for a while, as they've both been on the same side on a number of local campaigns – against Labour's school closures, notably Wyndford and St Gregory's, and against the ridiculous idea to put a nightclub in the Botanics.

The Steamie, 75668">>75668

This morning's papers make tough reading for Nicola Sturgeon. The funny thing is that if she had just held her hands up and apologised for making an error of judgment then it would have been over but instead she decided to try and say she has done nothing wrong and then Alex Salmond made a massive error implying she was obliged to act.

Yapping Yousuf, blog of Yousuf Hamid, Scottish Labour activist,

THE season of love is upon us. Now, lads, before you rush off to buy those supermarket roses or ill-fitting push-up bras, get online and check out some of the excruciating poetry you need to avoid today.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And just to get you in the mood for lurve, check out these American tales of woe on February 14. I mean, how bad can Valentine's be?

Don't have a beloved-one? Don't worry. The first step is to make friends. Think this is easy? Oh, No. American self-help website Succeed Socially has some essentially advice: "Don't," it says, "be too picky about who you hang out with."


alaindebotton: Definition of a present: something you can't get for yourself. As a child, that meant toys. In adulthood: reassurance, sympathy, forgiveness

davidschneider: Gordon Brown to bail out Portsmouth by merging it with HBOS. They've some tasty players in their Sunday league team. It might help.

TomHarris4MP: Inflation to hit 3.5% Disaster! Another 6.5% higher and it'll be back at where Major put it in 1990...

SusanCalman: My mood has not improved yet. However I have a plan that involves a balloon and some paper mache. Simple pleasures.

serafinowicz: My cat hates modern music, except Muse

Writerer (AL Kennedy): Do go and see "Up In The Air" Grown up film. And my life – but with cleaner luggage and more sex.

CraigyFerg (Craig Ferguson): Good Morning twitsylvania. I haven't had a drink in 18 years but I still wake up with a hangover.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

lynnfergy (Lynn Ferguson, below): Tuesday today. Not a superstitious person. Just saying....

caitlinmoran: I can see next-door having a skip delivered. It's the shiniest, cleanest one I've ever seen. I'm oddly jealous

alexmassie: Superbowl ads in the UK are rubbish. I have no interest in "talking about" chlamydia, thanks.