Water water everywhere

And we think the weather's bad in Blighty

Thank you to our man in Bangladesh (OMIB) who sent a link this morning to the Daily Star's poetic reporting on the absurd amount of rain that fell overnight. Says OMIB: the rainfall in the 24 hours to 7am in Dhaka was equal to the average received in London between January 1st and July 15th. It is quite wet here.

Wonderful understatement from the front line. But the real joy of this piece is the fact that, amidst the utter catastrophe of the whole situation, the journalist Sharier Khan actually starts a paragraph with the words "on the brighter side" and goes on to describe how people were suddenly able to catch fish with their bare hands as they floated past their windows:

A gatekeeper caught dozens of telapia fish. "I will put these in my landlord's refrigerator and eat one daily," smiled Delwar, the gatekeeper.

Definitely in the running for the Cheerful Reporting in the Face of Adversity award (yes, there are going to be awards, obviously).

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Michael Gove definitely didn't betray anyone, says Michael Gove

What's a disagreement among friends?

Michael Gove is certainly not a traitor and he thinks Theresa May is absolutely the best leader of the Conservative party.

That's according to the cast out Brexiteer, who told the BBC's World At One life on the back benches has given him the opportunity to reflect on his mistakes. 

He described Boris Johnson, his one-time Leave ally before he decided to run against him for leader, as "phenomenally talented". 

Asked whether he had betrayed Johnson with his surprise leadership bid, Gove protested: "I wouldn't say I stabbed him in the back."

Instead, "while I intially thought Boris was the right person to be Prime Minister", he later came to the conclusion "he wasn't the right person to be Prime Minister at that point".

As for campaigning against the then-PM David Cameron, he declared: "I absolutely reject the idea of betrayal." Instead, it was a "disagreement" among friends: "Disagreement among friends is always painful."

Gove, who up to July had been a government minister since 2010, also found time to praise the person in charge of hiring government ministers, Theresa May. 

He said: "With the benefit of hindsight and the opportunity to spend some time on the backbenches reflecting on some of the mistakes I've made and some of the judgements I've made, I actually think that Theresa is the right leader at the right time. 

"I think that someone who took the position she did during the referendum is very well placed both to unite the party and lead these negotiations effectively."

Gove, who told The Times he was shocked when Cameron resigned after the Brexit vote, had backed Johnson for leader.

However, at the last minute he announced his candidacy, and caused an infuriated Johnson to pull his own campaign. Gove received just 14 per cent of the vote in the final contest, compared to 60.5 per cent for May. 


Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.