Scuffle of the week

George Carman QC (left) v Neil Hamilton (right). The former Tory minister was well and truly tied in knots by the celebrated libel lawyer representing Mohamed Al Fayed. During Carman's cross examination, Hamilton was forced to admit that he was never likely to have been a front-bench spokesman, effectively dropping one of his claims for damages against the owner of Harrods. Carman said: "Are you seriously saying to the jury, 'Award me damages for the loss of my career prospects, which include the possibility that I'd be serving in the shadow cabinet or as a front-bench spokesman now,' in the light of the fact that the select committee found in 1997 that if you were a serving member you'd have deserved a substantial period of suspension?" Hamilton crumbled.