At Large: Goodbye to Margaret Hodge and hello to a budding fantasy writer

Plus: a meeting with the Duke of Edinburgh and a Guardian t-shirt

The duke wows a community centre in east London
The duke wows a community centre in east London

It's not just multinational companies, banks and the chair of the BBC who are breathing a sigh of relief now that Margaret Hodge MP is no longer chair of the Public Accounts Committee. William Shawcross, chair of the Charity Commission, was kebabbed by her on the Cup Trust and other matters, and has also perked up since her departure. Many will recall how back in 2003 he was on Question Time calling for Hodge's resignation when she was in a spot of bother as leader of Islington Council – an offence unlikely to have been forgiven. Recalling his PAC moments recently, Shawcross described Hodge as "abusive", before reflecting for a moment and revising that down to "meticulous". Nobody, of course, is suggesting that personal animosity played any part in events at the PAC. Perish the thought. It was all dealt with strictly on the issues.

Rob Wilson displays the concentration of a man on a tightrope when talking about the fundraising row in his interview with Third Sector, but relaxes and lights up when discussing his writing. He produced Five Days to Power after the 2010 election, and the publication of The Eye of the Storm, on the subject of politicians in trouble, prevented him being appointed prisons minister a year ago. He's now about to branch into fiction with a fantasy novel and describes an admirable routine for the summer recess: "I'm quite disciplined – I get up very early, well before the kids, and can spend a couple of hours before breakfast doing it. I generally get in four or five hours a day." Are we looking at the new Terry Pratchett or Philip Pullman?

Any doubts that the Duke of Edinburgh remains well on the ball should be set aside in the light of his remarks when visiting a community centre in east London recently. He and the Queen met Martin Shaw from the fundraising company Midas, who reported afterwards that the Duke had asked him if he had any friends left. "I said 'Not many', and he said 'I guessed so'."

Far be it from At Large to promote the wares of a rival publication, but fundraisers who feel sore at the current attack on their profession in the press might consider throwing an ironic counterpunch with a Guardian T-shirt that carries a slogan about a certain well-known tabloid.

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