19 MAY 1973, Page 9

Corridors . . .

THE EMBARRASSMENT OF the former Viscount Stansgate, now humble Tony Benn, was a little painful last week. One of Harold Wilson's aides was asked by a journalist whether the mutterings of his front bench colleagues against Benn's Rolls-Royce blunder meant that the former Viscount was out on a limb. " He's been limbless for years," snapped the aide.

THE CENSURE MOTION tabled by the Opposition on Tuesday over the Rolls affair (tabled in order to help — or was it further to embarrass? — Tony) was a sad affair in itself. It demanded "the acquisition . . . of all the assets of the company from the receiver" by the Government, forgetting that the receiver no longer held the assets; and suggested that the skills of the Rolls workers were the company's " only real assets," forgetting full order books and a lot of valuable property.

A REAL RISK HAS BEEN TAKEN by the redoubtable Enoch Powell, in refusing to speak for the Tory candidate at the West Bromwich by-election, because he supports the Prime Minister too heartily. It is observed that the local election results were not anything like as bad for the Tories as they might have been and if young David Bell manages any kind of a reduction in Labour's 4,436 majority in what is, after all, Powell country, Ted will be chortling with glee.

ON THE SUBJECT OF those local elections congratulations are in order for Eric Heifer, the Liverpool Labour MP who, as all about him were losing their heads to the Liberals, prevented Mr Thorpe's man from gaining a single seat in his own patch.

Tom Puzzle