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Whitto reveals how he got his black-eye

Aside from the EU debate, it’s John Whittingdale who has become the talk of the Commons this week thanks to the black-eye he’s been sporting. While there has been much speculation as to how he came to get the bruise, his aides have insisted that it was simply won through an altercation with a lamp post.

Tonight at the UK Music summer party, the Culture Secretary’s colleague Nigel Adams — chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Music — appeared to hint at another cause. ‘Let’s welcome our fantastic secretary of state, who you will see got on the wrong side of an argument with a remain-er in the last week or two,’ Adams joshed to partygoers in the Lords.


Happily Whitto was on hand to put forward his version of events, in his party speech. He says that the black-eye came about after he got lost on his way to Capital FM’s Summertime Ball — leading him walking into a post:

‘Last weekend — this is the sacrifice I make for music tourism — I was at the Capital Summertime ball where I managed to walk into a post while trying to find my way in. Hence my rather spectacular look this evening.’

Despite his injury, Whittingdale did manage to include a more serious message in his speech. While Ed Vaizey’s heckle for UK Music heads to state their position on the EU came to no avail, Whittingdale did later offer some soothing words to industry figures:

‘Once again Britain is conquering the world, and long may that continue to be the case. We are the most extraordinarily creative nation on the planet and that has nothing to do with whether or not we are in the European Union.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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