Last Thursday's Londoner's Diary in the Evening Standard led with an intriguing tale about Home Secretary Dr John Reid's stepson Hal Vogel - a noted TV political satirist - and his mystery sale of a two-bedroom flat in a Victorian house in Notting Hill's Leamington Road Villas to his mother, Carine Adler (ie Reid's wife), for £300,000. However, a Land Registry search reveals that the said property is now owned by something called Sterlinvestments Ltd. There's the suggestion here of offshore ownership and tax avoidance - but no one's sure. Who really owns the flat? Does Dr Reid know?
Today, Madame Arcati receives a fascinating communication from a Notting Hill "perplexed resident". The person concerned writes of Vogel's former property: "It's a share-of-freehold set-up. The tenants in Vogel's old flat say they can't find out who owns it either, but that rent paid to an offshore company is tax-free."
I hope there's nothing going on here that could bruise Dr Reid's Prime Ministerial fantasies (by association).