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Which Harry Potter character is Theresa May? An extremely serious investigation

This 10.52" hornbeam wand with a dragon heartstring core has Theresa May written all over it! 

So. After Theresa May told a small, confused child that she enjoys the Harry Potter books at a school in Birmingham yesterday, the Telegraph’s political correspondent asked her which character from the series she thinks she most resembles. Seemingly unimpressed with the question, the Prime Minister responded, “No, you can’t ask me that. I don’t think I’m similar to any of the characters.” You know what that means, guys. It’s time for another round of: making tenuous comparisons between British politics and Harry Potterrrrrrrrrrrr! Here are the 12 Harry Potter characters Theresa May is most like.

Professor Umbridge

Many commenters scrambled to suggest online that Theresa May shares a striking resemblance with Professor Umbridge. Certainly, it’s the easiest comparison to make: Professor Umbridge ensures a strong and stable leadership through a combination of draconian policies, fear of difference, posh coats and the blood of a pubescent male. At least Umbridge likes cats.

Cornelius Fudge

Come on. Doesn’t Theresa May more closely resemble Cornelius Fudge? Chosen to lead as a compromise between extremes, boring, with a capacity for denial and an insistence on plodding along with a single course despite changing circumstances.

Neville Longbottom In A First Year Potions Class

Theresa May and Neville Longbottom In A First Year Potions Class probably wouldn’t have been firm friends – but that’s not for a lack of things in common! Just like Neville Longbottom In A First Year Potions Class, the Prime Minister is unable to answer simple questions, such as “Which Harry Potter character are you most like?”

Nagini

Ah, the old Giant Malicious Snake Inhabiting The Body of A Human Woman Until It Can Be Cast Aside Come The Time Of Attack routine. Think we haven’t seen that one before, Theresa?

The Hand of Glory

Theresa May has more than the odd thing in common with this severed and preserved human hand! Providing light only to the beholder, it works on the principle that basic necessities needed to navigate one’s environment should be preserved only for oneself. Inspiring!

The Quick Quotes-Quill

This feathered implement just screams Theresa! Taking plain and ordinary facts and whipping them into sensational and inaccurate narratives that bear little resemblance to actual events, this pen has been known to demonise the marginalised and protect the privileged.

The Marauder’s Map

This fusty piece of paper could play Theresa May in the biopic! The Marauder’s Map gets up to all sorts of pranks through constant, invasive surveillance on every person in the Wizarding World – who needs the Snooper’s Charter! We bet the Prime Minister would like nothing more than to take a leaf from its roll of parchment. Mischief managed!

The Durmstrang Ship

Wow, you’ll do a double-take glancing at The Durmstrang Ship! After lurking under the surface for the majority of its journey into the spotlight, this “ghostly” vessel chose the perfect time to finally emerge! Once taking centre stage, it anchored itself steadfastly. And strongly.

Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup

It’s said to possess special powers (though none have been demonstrated) – and it contains a fractured evil soul invisible to the human eye. A real doppelgänger for Mrs May!

The Vanishing Cabinet

You could have sworn that there was something inside this polished facade – but upon closer inspection, you’ll see there’s nothing there at all! Haha. Only joking, Theresa. What potentially lies inside the Vanishing Cabinet is far more exciting – an entrance point allowing sinister forces to infiltrate institutions beloved by the nation!

Victor Krum’s Wand

This 10.52" hornbeam wand with a dragon heartstring core has Theresa May written all over it! One of the last ever designed by Mykew Gregorovitch, it is, as Ollivander notes, “rather thicker than one usually sees” and “quite rigid”.

Pius Thicknesse

I know, right? You’re all like “who the hell is Pius Thicknesse?!” and then BAM! He’s only bloody Minister for Magic! 

Anna Leszkiewicz is a pop culture writer at the New Statesman.

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“It was like a religious ceremony”: What happened at Big Ben’s final bong?

Both inside and outside Parliament, people gathered to hear the clock’s final midday chime before undergoing repairs.

“It’s just hacks everywhere,” a photographer sighs, jamming his lens through a gap in Parliament’s railings to try and get a closer look.

New Palace Yard, Parliament’s courtyard directly below Big Ben, is filling with amused-looking journalists, waiting for the MPs who have promised to hold a “silent vigil”, heads bowed, to mark Big Ben’s final chime before four years of silence while the tower’s repaired.

About four of them turn up. Two by accident.

It’s five minutes to twelve. Tourists are gathering outside Westminster Tube, as tourists do best. A bigger crowd fills Parliament Square. More people than expected congregate outside, even if it’s the opposite within the Palace. The world and his phone are gazing up at the sad, resigned clock face.


“It’s quite controversial, isn’t it?” one elderly woman in an anorak asks her friend. They shrug and walk off. “Do you know what is this?” an Italian tourist politely asks the tiny press pack, gesturing to the courtyard. No one replies. It’s a good question.

“This is the last time,” says another tourist, elated, Instagram-poised.

“DING DONG DING DONG,” the old bell begins.

Heads down, phones up.


It finishes the on-the-hour tune for the last time, and then gives its much-anticipated resignation statement:

“BONG. BONG. BONG. BONG. BONG. BONG. BONG. BONG. BONG. BONG. BONG. BONG.”

Applause, cheers, and even some tears.


But while the silly-seasoned journalists snigger, the crowd is enthusiastic.

“It’s quite emotional,” says David Lear, a 52-year-old carer from Essex, who came up to London today with his work and waited 45 minutes beneath Big Ben to hear it chime.

He feels “very, very sad” that the bell is falling silent, and finds the MPs’ vigil respectful. “I think lots of people feel quite strongly about it. I don’t know why they’re doing it. During the war it carries on, and then they turn it off for a health and safety reason.”

“I don’t know why they can’t have some speakers half way down it and just play the chime,” he adds. “So many tourists come especially to listen to the chime, they gather round here, getting ready for it to go – and they’re going to switch it off. It’s crazy.”

Indeed, most of the surrounding crowd appears to be made up of tourists. “I think that it was gorgeous, because I’ve never heard him,” smiles Cora, an 18-year-old German tourist. “It was a great experience.”

An Australian couple in their sixties called Jane and Gary are visiting London for a week. “It was like a religious ceremony, everybody went quiet,” laughs Gary. “I hope they don’t forget where they put the keys to start it again in four years’ time.”

“When we first got here, the first thing we did was come to see it,” adds Jane, who is also positive about the MPs who turned up to watch. “I think it’s good they showed a bit of respect. Because they don’t usually show much respect, do they?”

And, as MPs mouthing off about Big Ben are challenged on their contrasting reactions to Grenfell, that is precisely the problem with an otherwise innocent show of sentimentality.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.