"Mr Marchessini writes to me a lot. Usually more offensively than this relatively mild trickle of crazed inaccuracies, and usually he remembers which paper I work for and spells my name right more than once. He is free to approve of the beatings and hangings of young men across the world in the name of what he considers religion. In the same spirit, I am free to say he is a loony."
Times columnist Libby Purves responds to an extraordinary open letter published as an advert in the Torygraph in which Greek businessman and author Demetri Marchessini attacks her for criticising Vladimir Putin's stance against homosexuality. As the Evening Standard point out, it's hardly ideal timing from Nigel Farage's point of view for yet another UKIP-supporting oddball to hit the headlines. What a shame.