DIARY: The tough job of promoting top attention-seekers

It's an event that celebrates those who devote their lives to

seeking attention, speaking for hours on end and attempting to get into

the papers as much as humanly possible.

Yes, the announcement was made this week of the PR firm charged with

handling The Spectator's Parliamentarian of the Year award, and the

chosen shop is Phipps PR.

Tasked with promoting the Zurich Financial Services-sponsored event, the

agency is led on the account by director Nicky Forrest.

Judged by the likes of BBC political editor Andrew Marr and foppish

Spectator editor and Tory MP Boris Johnson - who will, presumably, be

barred from selecting himself - the ceremony will be held in London in


On the assumption that John Prescott will not scoop the award, there

might just be an opportunity for a vanquished Tory to take some solace

from another poor year, joining such luminaries as previous

election-losing leaders John Major and Sir Edward Heath, as well as Tony


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