ANDREW PIERCE: Auntie's new favourite? It's Professor Lockdown

ANDREW PIERCE: Auntie’s new favourite? It’s Professor Lockdown

So in one of the most bizarre comebacks of the year, disgraced epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson cropped up last week on the BBC’s flagship Today programme. 

True to form, Ferguson — whose widely criticised scientific model inspired the Government to impose a draconian lockdown in March — prescribed his usual dose of scaremongering. 

The Imperial College scientist said that people should ‘hesitate’ at the ‘headlong rush to get everybody back into offices’, adding that ‘we may need to clamp down in other areas’ on top of the newly imposed measures. 

Disgraced epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson cropped up last week on the BBC’s flagship Today programme

Listeners were no doubt left choking on their cornflakes after hearing such a pronouncement from the hypocrite who celebrated the Government’s support for his apocalyptic warnings by breaking the consequent lockdown measures to organise a tryst with his married lover in May. 

Not that they should have been too surprised. 

If anything, Ferguson seems to have become the BBC’s Coronavirus Correspondent: since resigning in disgrace from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), he has cropped up on Auntie’s airwaves at least once a month. 

Let’s see if his budding media career proves more successful than his advisory one.

Overheard in the House of Commons: ‘What have the Yorkshire Dales and EU negotiator Michel Barnier got in common? 

A vast amount of stone-walling. Very difficult to move.’

If the designer suit fits, Sir Keir… 

Prime Minister’s Questions last week coincided with #BackBritishFarming day, and Boris Johnson and opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer both sported wheat pin badges accordingly. 

But while Boris’s was proudly pinned to his lapel, Starmer stuffed his in his breast pocket instead. 

Sir Keir Starmmer sported a wheat pin badge to support #BackBritishFarming day and stuffed it in his breast pocket

The reason? A Labour spy informs me that Sir Keir did not want to ruin the lapel of his expensive designer suit. 

If his shabby predecessor Jeremy Corbyn can be praised for anything, it’s that damage to formal attire certainly wasn’t a bugbear. 

On the subject of lockdown hypocrisy, Dominic Cummings — who infamously drove 30 miles from Durham to Barnard Castle to ‘check his eyesight’ in April — has found backing in the most unlikely of quarters. 

Usually a hate figure for Labour MPs, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser last week gained the admiration of Lord Mandelson. 

Lord Mandelson has revealed his admiration for Boris Johnson’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings

‘He and I politically, obviously, are chalk and cheese,’ Mandelson told the Evening Standard. 

‘But the ideas that come out of his head are ones that I readily understand. 

‘Whatever you might think or say about Dominic Cummings, he’s a guy with a vision.’ 

Perhaps Mandelson missed Cummings’ extraordinary speech from No 10’s rose garden, where he finally admitted to problems with his ‘vision’. 

Who’s that girl? 

In her pitch to Lib Dem party members to be their candidate in the delayed London Mayoral election, Luisa Porritt, a local councillor who was an MEP for six months, writes of Tory prospect Shaun Bailey: ‘London deserves better in this contest than a… Conservative candidate who is completely unknown.’ Luisa who? 

The Hebrides are calling for independence from Westminster and Edinburgh. 

But what is the view of the MP for the islands — the SNP’s Angus MacNeil — or the neighbouring MP and leader of the party’s Westminster group Ian Blackford? 

No comment from these independence warriors … 

I’d use Google next time Arron 

I’ve long been a huge admirer of Arron Banks — one of the ‘bad boys of Brexit’ and Leave.EU campaign co-founder who helped swing the referendum result. 

But did he really need to hire private detectives to track down former TV presenter Noel Edmonds in New Zealand? 

Arron Banks has hired private detectives to track down former TV presenter Noel Edmonds in New Zealand

Banks claims Edmonds owes him £1.3 million. 

Edmonds had already been on New Zealand TV, had appeared in local newspapers and was welcomed personally into the country by PM Jacinda Ardern. 

Perhaps a simple Google search would have sufficed. 

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