By Gove - Nandy is dandy and there's pride in McBride

- It was Tuesday afternoon in New Palace Yard, under the shadow of Big Ben, and the education secretary, Michael Gove, was in a hurry for his next appointment. As he strode towards his limo, he spotted Labour's shadow charities minister, Lisa Nandy, being photographed by Third Sector, and benevolence overcame him. "I'd just like to say what a good MP Lisa Nandy is," he declared to all and sundry. "Really outstanding." And in he jumped and off he swept. "Well, that's my end of term report," quipped Nandy, who was his sparring partner during her time on the Education Select Committee. So whatever happened to tribal politics? "It's funny," said Nandy. "Some Conservatives are like that towards us - really courteous and polite - and others are a bit cold and hostile." She didn't name the hostiles, but it's easy enough to guess.

- So farewell, then, battling Betty McBride. The policy and comms director of the British Heart Foundation announced her retirement last week, so the sector will lose one of its stalwarts. One occasion when her qualities came to the fore was when Newsnight did a hatchet job on face-to-face fundraising four years ago and she was the only senior sector person willing to go on camera and do battle alongside Mick Aldridge of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association. The chief executives of the big chugging charities all skulked in their tents. Respect, Betty.

- Researching a story on kidnapping is like walking on eggshells, given media blackouts and all the dangers of the wrong sort of publicity. So it was a bit unnerving when our reporter rang a British Red Cross person only to hear a recorded message saying she was off to Jordan and Lebanon but would be back "on 10 March". But as far as we know, she's safe and sound.

- The iron rule that IT lets you down when you need it most hit the Charity Commission last week, when the website was limping along like a Model T Ford for the best part of a day. This forced the postponement of an eagerly anticipated Twitter Q&A about the recently updated annual return. But the fact the commission does hip stuff like Twitter Q&As at all shows how far it's come since the time it was known as the graveyard of the civil service.

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