As the dust settles on Damian McBride's Downing Street departure, one tale doing the rounds involves his girlfriend's job in the Department for Children, Schools and Families' press office.

Separate sources insist Children's Secretary and McBride's ally Ed Balls was involved in the recruitment process. 'Balls' involvement ruffled a few feathers,' one insider claimed. DCSF head of news Lee Bailey told Flack he had already been alerted to the suggestion but insisted: 'It's all nonsense. I recruited her in the normal way.'...

Plenty of sporty PROs braved the London Marathon last weekend. The fastest time we've heard is Trigger Fish MD Andrew White at 3:34. White raced in ahead of Children's Society PR officer David Hudi-Dinnage (3:54) and Frank PR director Alex Grier (4:49). Can anyone lay claim to White's fastest PRO crown? Let us know ...

Hotwire senior programme executive Ben Matthews has set up a Twitter profile for his gran (@granrmatthews). Her bio reads: 'I like sherry. I also like Countdown. I don't like hoodlums or strumpets'. Granny Matthews had three followers as we went to press ...

Possibly the sexiest account win of the week is for Full Portion Media, which has signed up Miss Great Britain 2009 finalist Victoria Charlotte Buglioni, apparently Cockney geezer Ray Winstone's goddaughter. The agency will be supporting her in this month's final.

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