Having fought eleven general elections you might be forgiven for thinking that Michael Howard would be familiar with putting a cross in a box on a ballot paper. But my spies in the 1922 Committee tell me that he almost managed to spoil his ballot paper in the Tory leadership election ballot among MPs. Apparently he ticked a box rather than put a cross in it. Realising his mistake he asked if that was OK and was reassured his vote would still count. I’m told that when the ballot boxes were emptied only one of the 198 ballot papers had a tick on it. All the money in the world couldn’t drag from me whose box he had ticked – it is after all a secret ballot! – but suffice to say it wasn’t against the box marked Davis.
From my diary in today's Independent on Sunday