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What We Learned this week… about Matt Hancock’s trip to Australia, Adele’s name and firework mayhem in Dundee

The recent Matt Hancock scandal left many wondering if it's one rule for politicians and another for the public
The recent Matt Hancock scandal left many wondering if it's one rule for politicians and another for the public

What we learned this week…

Matt Hancock on I’m a Celebrity

FORMER health minister Matt Hancock managed something which has seemed impossible in recent months when he united the Westminster political firmament after confirming he had signed up to take part in the new series of I’m a Celebrity…

However, Hancock’s decision only served as the catalyst for derision and disdain from even his own colleagues and he immediately had the whip suspended.

Ian Houlder, a Conservative councillor, accused Hancock of having “no shame”, while Tory MP Tim Loughton said his party colleague had been an “absolute prat”. Sadly, these were the kinder comments about his imminent flirtation with Ant and Dec and whatever excruciating insect-chomping trials they have devised for him in Australia.


FIREWORKS were withdrawn from sale at all Asda, Tesco and Morrisons stores in Dundee after pictures of riots in Kirkton were broadcast across the world and various commentators described the scenes as resembling Beirut or Baghdad.

Pyrotechnics were thrown at police officers and vehicles during a night of disorder on Halloween which was branded “shameful” and “disgraceful” by city officials.

On Tuesday, Joe FitzPatrick, the MSP for Dundee City West, contacted Asda, which has a store in Kirkton, asking for fireworks sales to be halted, which they agreed to do with “immediate effect”. But the damage had been done.

Tributes to Peter de Savary

TRIBUTES were paid, following the death at 78, of Peter de Savary, one of the most colourful and flamboyant figures in the history of Highland ownership.

He acted as my host at Skibo Castle at the time of the famous Madonna/Guy Ritchie wedding, but it was a measure of his act-now-think-later personality that he acquired the building almost on a whim. Legend has it that, while driving in the region, he spotted it in the distance and told his wife: “I just have a feeling that if I get out of this car, I’m going to buy this castle. And I do not need to buy a castle.” But he did.

Adele’s name

ADELE is one of the most famous figures on the planet, yet people have been mispronouncing her name for years. But now she has clarified: “It’s Ah, not Uh.”

The singer-songwriter was speaking in the United States when the subject cropped up and praised a fan who said it correctly on the first try.

She said: “Love that. She said my name perfectly. The correct pronunciation is ‘Ah-dell’ and not ‘Uh-dell”. Nice work. It’s only taken about 15 years to sort that out.

Calvin Ramsay comes on for Trent Alexander-Arnold to make his Liverpool debut.

Calvin Ramsay’s dreams come true

FORMER Aberdeen defender Calvin Ramsay said it was a “dream come true” to make his Liverpool debut in the Champions League. The 19-year-old was introduced as a substitute in the 87th minute of Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat of Napoli at Anfield.

And his family were in the stadium to watch the right-back perform for the six-time European champions after joining them in a club-record transfer from the Dons.

Ramsay told the Liverpool FC website: “It’s something I’ve dreamed of as a little kid. To actually be playing in the Champions League is just amazing.”

Road maintenance workers facing abuse

ROAD maintenance workers are being provided with bodycams and special alarms to deal with dangerous and abusive motorists. Highways operator Bear Scotland confirmed that its workers risked injury and even death when unauthorised vehicles drove recklessly into their coned-off work sites.

They revealed this had happened when drivers jumped red lights or tried to race through traffic management set-ups and staff also faced verbal and physical abuse, with one employee, Duncan Crilley, based in Corpach near Fort William, being struck by a bottle of urine that was thrown from a moving car.

The Cairngorm funicular could re-open next year.<span style="font-size: 16px"> </span>

Britain’s highest railway

BRITAIN’S highest railway could be back in service again in 2023 – almost five years after structural problems shut it down, as the prelude to interminable delays.

The Scottish Government has provided £16m towards the cost of fixing the Cairngorm Funicular, owned by public body Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the latter organisation said there was a possibility it could be available during the imminent snowsports season, if work to get it operational again progresses as planned.

The funicular connects a base station with a restaurant and a ski area a little matter of 1,097m (3,599ft) up Cairn Gorm mountain near Aviemore.

Orkney Islands Council’s new chief executive

ON the subject of delays, it has only taken two years, 58 failed applicants and an exhaustive interview process for Orkney Islands Council to find a new chief executive.

The appointment of Oliver Reid was announced this week by the local authority, who must be relieved after being unable to find a suitable candidate during the first three rounds of interviews, while spending more than £20,000 on their search.

Elon Musk row with Stephen King

MULTI-multi-billionaire Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter got off to a rocky start when he found himself in a public row with horror writer Stephen King.

Musk, who is discussing charging people with blue ticks on the social media platform, responded to King’s threat to walk away with the words: “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”

The author’s response isn’t appropriate for a family newspaper.