Express & Star

Mark Andrews: Penny for her outfit, jailbirds with 'lived experiences', and the 11 per cent who still love Andrew

When I first saw Penny Mordaunt's ridiculous Coronation outfit, which many have likened to the Poundland logo, I assumed it was some kind of uniform, something she had been instructed to wear because of some ancient tradition.

Max Cady - lived experience?

But now she reveals she not only chose to wear it, but actually designed it herself. Which confirms my suspicions that she had been put forward for last year's Tory leadership contest to make Liz Truss look sensible.

Penny reckoned that wearing the traditional dress associated with her role would not be in keeping with a 'modern' ceremony.

If that is what 'modern' Britain looks like, you can keep it. She looked like she had just stepped off the set of an advert for a Far Eastern airline.

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The Ministry of Justice, the gift that keeps on giving. Last week, it emerged that sex fetishists working in the department were demanding special recognition to protect them from discrimination. Now it emerges officials have been ordering prison officers to stop referring to former jailbirds as 'ex-convicts'. Instead they should call them 'prison leavers' or, better still, 'people with lived experiences'.

My 'lived experience' is that anybody who uses terms like that should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Who doesn't have 'lived experiences'? More to the point, what other type of experiences are there? Dead experiences?

And people wonder why a former minister allegedly lost his temper with these jokers.

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Meanwhile, Sir John Major reckons too many criminals are being sent to prison.

Our esteemed former PM says more than 60 per cent of prisoners are banged up for non-violent offences. So what's he suggesting? House-breaking, car theft and stealing elderly widows' savings no longer warrant custody?

He says while the prison population has doubled over the past 40 years, the number of violent crimes committed are lower than they were 30 years ago. Which, by my logic, suggests locking up offenders is pretty effective.

But if Britain really was much more violent 30 years ago than it is today – something I very much doubt – shouldn't the prime minister of that time have a few questions to answer?

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Prince William is the most popular member of the Royal Family, according to a new poll, with 61 per cent of those expressing their approval. He's a good Villa fan, so I guess that's fine with me.

William's wife, the Princess of Wales, and his aunt, the Princess Royal, are not far behind, tying for second place.

But as any good Villa fan will tell you, the most interesting story is usually at the bottom of the table. And there we find Prince Andrew, who it seems is still loved by 11 per cent of the population. Just think about that, and look around you. That's one in every nine people who thinks he's a pretty good role model. And they still get the vote. And sit on juries.

Maybe they did the survey in Pizza Express.