Home News 12 Dec 1978
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Cameron Evans, resigned last night after admitting a two-year affair with a night club dancer, Kimberley Chalmers. The Prime Minister William Harman accepted his resignation “with regret”, drawing attention to his valuable work in the fight to keep inflation under control. Evans was in hiding last night. The telephone at his Chelsea home went unanswered and the Treasury said he was unavailable. Gillian Evans and her two daughters Tiffany, 12, and Trudi, 8 were spending time with her parents in Hampshire. Mrs Evans issued the following statement through her solicitor Angela Buxton of Gregg, Aston, Maple and Buxton. “Cameron and I have not lived together for nearly a year. I shall be issue a writ for divorce in the near future. I have nothing more to add and I request that my daughters and I be left in peace to get on with our lives”.
Harman will take opportunity to reshuffle
William Harman is expected to take the opportunity of the resignation of Cameron Evans to reshuffle his Cabinet. The Prime Minister may well weed out up to 2 more Cabinet members. The one most at risk is David Eggleston, the Defence Secretary, who has not performed well over nuclear disarmament. His desire to retain an independent British Nuclear deterrent is at odds with the rank and file of the Labour Party who want to abandon it. Veteran Foreign Secretary, Treddar Jones might also “retire”, but Foreign Office sources have denied it. Jones has made no comment. Those considered to be candidates for promotion to the Cabinet, in order of likelihood, are Adrian Fox MP, Minister of State for Roads; Lord Ainsley, Minister of State for the Arts; Lyndsay Strong MP, Minister of State for non-European Affairs and Edgar Judd MP, Minister for Prisons.
Gregory Peach is tipped to move from Home Secretary to Foreign Secretary, with Jamie McHugh moving from President of the Board of Trade to Home Secretary. Peter Bennett could be promoted from Chief Secretary (Treasury) to Chancellor with Edgar Judd or Lyndsay Strong moving to Chief Secretary (Treasury). Lord Ainsley or Adrian Fox will become President of the Board of Trade.
Jackson demolishes Jones over Maratusse
As the situation in Maratusse worsened Gerald Jackson, the Shadow Foreign Secretary gave Treddar Jones a real roasting across the Dispatch Box and later on the BBC “The World Tonight”. Jones appeared to be all at sea. He even referred to the situation in the South Atlantic, not the Indian Ocean where Maratusse is located. He referred to Sir Kirwongi Battan-Surlan as the Prime Minister of Maratusse, where Ingano Nam holds that post. Sir Kirwongi Battan-Surlan is the Governor of Maratusse. Sources in Downing Street suggest that the Foreign Secretary had been badly briefed by one of his researchers, with the finger being pointed at the new incumbent Vikki Southgate. Max Wantage, the outspoken Labour MP for Brent South declared “This could cost Treddar his job. The PM does not suffer fools gladly”.
News from abroad 12 Dec 1978
Satu forces unite under Foxuli
Maratusse, a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean and one of Britain’s few remaining colonies, is in the grip of unrest with the threat of civil war looming ever larger. Rebel forces are gathering in the north under the command of the charismatic Ferriq “Freddy” Foxuli. Foxuli claims that the present government of Prime Minister, Ingano Nam has suppressed the minority Satu tribe. The rebel forces comprise a band of about 30 Satu tribesmen armed with little more than a few guns, bows & arrows and spears, but it is attracting attention and support from the Communist Block. Cuba has already offered support to the Satu forces. Havana radio spoke of Cuba “aiding its Satu brethren in their struggle against Western Imperialist aggression”.
The small British garrison on the island was on full alert last night. Their commander Captain Peter Judd of the Royal Surrey Fusiliers said “The situation is getting tense and we are on full alert. All leave has been cancelled”. Captain Judd declined to comment on whether reinforcements were being sent, but Shadow News has learned that two Hercules transport aircraft left RAF Northolt last night for an unknown destination, thought to be Maratusse. The Foreign Office has advised all British Nationals without urgent business on the island to leave immediately. The US is reported to be sending the destroyer USS Franklin D Roosevelt to evacuate its nationals.
Snow in Southern England will move North
The south on England was in the grips of winter again yesterday with temperatures plummeting below zero and snow covering an area from Devon, through Somerset, Avon and Gloucestershire in the west, to Hampshire and parts of West Sussex in the east. Four inches of snow were reported in the New Forest, with the temperature at Avebury dropping to – 4° Celsius, 25° Fahrenheit. Roads became impassable with dozens of motorists being stranded in their cars overnight. There seems to be no immediate sign of relief with more snow forecast for tonight. It will spread north and east, reaching the rest of England and Wales by Saturday and Scotland on Sunday. Milder air from the Atlantic is likely to reach the west coast early Monday morning