Evan Harris glugs with the enemy

20 March 2014

Gongs all round at the Paddy Power Political Book of the Year Award at the Imax cinema in Waterloo. It was a bumper night for Spectator writers. Congratulations to Charles Moore, who took the top spot for his Thatcher biography, to our regular book reviewer Richard Davenport-Hines, who won Political History of the Year for his brilliant account of the Profumo scandal, An English Affair, and to Iain Martin (occasionally of this parish), who scooped the debut prize for his damning account of the collapse of RBS.

Mr S’s attention was piqued by the fact that News UK – the media conglomerate formally known as News International – was among the headline sponsors. And many guests were amused to see Hacked Off’s pious Dr Evan Harris tucking into plenty of the champers.

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Host Gyles Brandreth also noticed the presence of News UK. ‘I work for the BBC now, which means most of my friends have been arrested,’ he quipped. ‘But then looking at this lineup – so have most of yours’. Elsewhere, Brandreth stayed just on the wrong side of the line by recounting his erotic dreams of Princess Michael of Kent.

The only truly awkward moment of the evening came when Davenport-Hines collected his prize. He tore into the police, the CPS and the media for having organised the stitch-up of a public figure in 1961, before mentioning a modern day equivalent – Andrew Mitchell. The prize was sponsored specifically by News UK and presented by Victoria Newton of the Sun on Sunday, whose daily stable-mates are currently engaged in a long-running dispute with Mitchell after breaking the ‘plebgate’ story. The road to redemption is often rocky.

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Show comments
  • mandelson

    Evan Harris – hard to see how someone so repugant and swivel eyed ever got elected.

  • FrankieThompson

    You’ve got to admire Evan Harris.

    He is turfed out just as the Lib Dems claw their way into power, but that setback hasn’t fazed him in the slightest.

    He’s still never off the telly, he’s still the go to for end your life spokespeople, and he seems to have more influence now than before those pesky voters booted him in the policy documents.

    Anyone with good looks like him, and is that resilient, has got to be admired, surely?

    • GUBU


      You are of course right – at least in the sense that if you did go to him, the thought of ending your life would cross your mind at least once whilst he was speaking.

  • GUBU

    ‘Dr’ Evans, pious? Pompous, more like.

  • PaulinusMinimus

    Please stop referring to him as ‘Dr’ Evan Harris. He’s not registered to practice (I just checked on the GMC website) and he doesn’t hold a doctorate (MD, PhD etc)

    • D Whiggery

      In fairness he doesn’t have to be registered to practice to call himself a doctor.

      • PaulinusMinimus

        Any more than a punch and judy man has to hold a chair at a university to call himself ‘Professor’

    • gelert

      Most doctors in the UK don’t have an MD, it’s usually earned by submitting a thesis, as with a PhD. Most of them are MB,BS or MB,ChB, which are bachelor degrees. Calling GPs “proper doctors” is infuriating to people with PhDs 😉

      In the US, doctors usually do a BSc before doing their medical studies and obtaining their MD degree..

      • PaulinusMinimus

        Thanks but I already knew that having practiced medicine in both the Uk and North America.

        • gelert

          No-one would have guessed from reading your initial post.

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