There is nothing like a strict deadline to concentrate the mind. As Brexit-day moves inexorably closer, there appears to be at least some discernible thawing among the icy crags of Tory back-bench rebellion, which could yet give Theresa May a chance - at one time thought impossible - to achieve an agreement by the due date.

This latest development has been welcomed by Dr Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary. And should it persist, the the Prime Minister may yet be able to achieve that miracle on time, for which she has been striving relentlessly for months. What a triumph that would be. Brexit has certainly turned the political landscape upside down.

And to quote the late Ronald Reagan: "You ain't seen nothing yet..."

lA friend at Westminster whispered to me the other day that David Lammy, the vociferous Labour MP for Tottenham, is becoming something of a pain in the neck. His latest grouse is to say that they can do without any more "white saviours" in Africa. This is a swipe at Comic Relief, which each year donates thousands and thousands of pounds to alleviate suffering around the world. In particular, Mr Lammy had a go at TV's Stacey Dooley for the "stereotyped" photograph of her holding an African child.

I can't see what the colour of a person's skin should have to do with the generosity of people anxious to help others less fortunate than themselves.

lTom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, has landed himself in hot water for offering what most people would consider to be a useful service to the party.

He said that all complaints of antisemitism in the party should be referred to him and he would deal with them as best he could. But this seemingly well-meaning offer was almost immediately met with by a ferocious letter from the party's general secretary, Jennie Formby. She accused him of completely unacceptable behaviour and claimed that he would be confusing and polluting the formal action being taken within the party to deal with these matters. I am glad to say that Mr Watson has stuck to his guns. It is certainly a novel concept to me that paid officials should have the temerity to tell MPs how to behave.

I would have thought the Labour Party had enough real problems on its plate, without indulging in a ludicrous and unnecessary over the top war of words like this.