DIARY: A Biggs thumbs up to amnesty campaign after Vaizey's Rio visit

Director of public affairs at Consolidated Communications Ed Vaizey has just returned from Brazil where he was fortunate enough (we think) to meet great train robber Ronnie Biggs.

Although he won't reveal his connection to the sixties icon, saying, rather in the style of a shifty East End gangster, that Biggs is a 'friend of a friend - I don't like to go into details' - Vaizey may have found a new client for Consolidated.

Because of the effect of a stroke last year, Biggs can't speak. But he can communicate by sign language, which is exactly what he did when Vaizey visited him at his home in the 'Notting Hill of Rio'.

'I asked him if he was happy to see me, and I got the thumbs up. Then I asked him if he wanted to come back to England, and I got a big thumbs up and smiling,' says Vaizey.

So now Vaizey is thinking of launching the Amnesty for Ronnie Biggs campaign, to be run pro bono - but with extensive travelling to Rio - by Consolidated.

His only worry is whether or not consorting with known criminals who have fled from British justice breaches any by-laws in the APPC code.

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