The Mortgage Mole

Frying pan to fire?

Sniggering and tasteless jokes all round at last Thursday&#39s Broomstick Ball, ably organised by Bristol & West&#39s Deirdre McManus in aid of Cancer Research UK. The auction – which raised £39,500 – was originally due to be hosted by TV scoundrel John Leslie, who inexplicably cancelled the booking last month. Kevin Duffy, managing director of Hamptons International, volunteered to step in as a more respectable compere with judo friend Brian Jacks. This beau geste was somewhat spoilt by his subsequent incessant bellowing at the audience to “shut the f**k up”, and his unwise decision to unmask Mole in front of potential victims. With his cover blown, Mole had little to do but enjoy the evening and plot his revenge… Cool

Mole hears that Hamptons International are revolving in jet-set circles these days, with director James Rodea due to fly off for a week&#39s skiing trip with…who? Only ill-starred tabloid super-stunna, Jordan! As a break from dodging speed cameras, Rodea and nine others, including the voluptuous one and partner, will be admiring the fine views, curves, peaks, [yes, we get it. Ed.] of Three Valleys, France. If her skiing&#39s not up to much, at least she&#39s in for a soft landing.

Coup scoop

Mole uncovered a cunning plan last week to put Brian Pitt, sales director of Future Mortgages, on the throne of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders&#39 Association. Ron Howell, sales director at First National Mortgage Company and also a representative on IMLA&#39s exec committee, confessed to Mole: “I&#39ve been chatting with my peers in the industry and we are all in agreement that Brian Pitt would make a fantastic IMLA chairman. I put my vote in for Brian and urged Joe Flynn at the Royal Bank of Scotland to do the same. I also asked Michael Bolton if he could use the HBOS block vote to put Brian in the position that he so richly deserves.”

A shocked spokesman for Brian could only splutter that “it would be a privilege for anyone to receive the IMLA chairmanship” adding that such a thankless role in the industry was something everyone should aspire to.

Tea, sir?

Staff at Intelligent Finance&#39s offices in Edinburgh welcomed never-say-die yodeller, Cliff Richard over the threshold last week. Billed as Britain&#39s “first authentic rock &#39n&#39 roll star” (by his own website), Sir Cliff enjoyed a nice cup of tea in the IF headquarters before taking off to Rock-strafe poor Glasgow. Mole can only imagine the subject of conversation. Does Cliff need more flexible payments? Does he need a mortgage at all? IF owes the honour to its sponsorship of the Sir Cliff Richard Tennis Trail, a charity that asks school children to spurn sofas for tennis courts.

The Mortgage Placement Company&#39s Bob Higgs joins the race for CeMAP at the Great North Run. The development manager for the London area and former personal trainer is now TMPC&#39s top producer