• Emily Prescott

Londoner’s Diary: ‘Brexit has left Britain’s fashion industry in real danger of being bypassed’

Brexit will devastate the British fashion industry unless the Government provides urgent support, say fashion leaders.

“We desperately need some kind of freedom of movement for creatives or at least a very easy visa process,” model Alexina Graham tells us.

“I am often expected to hop on a flight the very next day for work or even sometimes the same day and [the proposed travel visas] will… make booking me less attractive to clients such as H&M and Mango”. John Horner, the managing director of Models 1, which represents Naomi Campbell and has already lost about 40 per cent of its income to Covid, warns that Brexit will see “clients… go to Europe where they have a much bigger portfolio of models available and will bypass the UK”.

Meanwhile Tamara Cincik, chief executive of the think tank Fashion Roundtable, questioned the Government’s “political and uneven” support for the fishing industry, “a 12,000 [strong] workforce that makes the same for the UK as fashion does in east London”. “This is not about Remain or Leave,” says Cincik. “This is about business.”


Packham’s plea for ethical posh food

CHRIS PACKHAM is all for the proposed ban on “inhumane” foie gras. “The problem with posh foods is that people do aspire to them, unfortunately,” the naturalist tells us. He adds: “I think posh food should be sustainable food... People should be getting excited about food which is produced really sustainably.” Packham says this could mean ditching pâté for “vegan or vegetarian canapés, and it should be organic vegetables... those are the sorts of things that people should start bragging about.”



Tim Loughton says he is not worried about being one of nine UK citizens sanctioned by China, but the MP thinks they ought to have a group name. “We have the Famous Five and the Magnificent Seven… but nine seems to be a particularly underappreciated digit,” he tells ConservativeHome. “Nine pins doesn’t really cut it.” What about a nine-piece banned?


Tory MP Sir David Amess wants to build a statue in London to commemorate animals “who’ve suffered cruelty”. “Without being soppy about it, I think that’d be quite a nice thing to do,” he says. He wants the PM’s backing, but says he will “put [his] foot down” if Boris Johnson says it should feature his own rescue dog. Michelangelo’s Dilyn?


Shafak: My fictional friends are jealous

Elif Shafak has a tendency to forget about the real world when she’s in the middle of writing a novel and says it makes her “horrible” to live with, she confesses. “For days, weeks, months, over a year, you live with these imaginary characters,” she told the Fortunately podcast. “Sometimes your very dear friends want to go out and drink together... you turn them down because your fictional characters are waiting at home and I know if I neglect them, they will be cross.” Writer’s block.


Twiggy: Tea can solve everything

Twiggy believes any problem can be solved with a cup of tea — unless that problem occurs in America. The Sixties model and actor tells us that her childhood was awash with cuppas: “In north-west London, we always had tea… it solves everything,” she enthuses. But working in America has proved tricky at times, as she believes “they make the worst cup of tea in the world”. The infusion aficionado, who hosts the Tea with Twiggy podcast, says she gets around the issue by taking her own teabags to jobs and adds: “I always got the company to get me a kettle.” Essentials.


A tale of leeches and love

To leech or not to leech? Actor couple Sophie Rundle and Matt Stokoe had differing experiences of the parasite when they filmed their new horror film Rose: A Love Story. “We got quite fascinated by the leeches, we were sad to say goodbye to them at the end,” beams Peaky Blinders star Rundle — but Stokoe was less enamoured: “I had real leeches on my leg and… they were latching on. It was grim.” He adds quickly: “There were genuinely no leeches harmed in the making of this film.”

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