Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
17 October 2018

Commons Confidential: The DUP plot against Arlene

Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster. 

By Kevin Maguire

Arise, Sir Brexit? Dreary Greg Clark, a Business Secretary with the firmness of soggy cardboard, is searching for tycoons who back a potential national economic catastrophe to gift them gongs. My snout with the magnifying glass whispered that Clark’s department is scrutinising the small list of business Brextremists to honour a few of the few.

Cowardly Clark, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s little helper in the rearguard action to avoid destroying what remains of British manufacturing, feels too weak to dismiss self-entitled Leavers moaning they’re ignored when sweeties are handed out. Rewarding Moscow’s favourite Arron “Ronksi” Banks or financial speculator Richard Tice may prove too controversial, though I note unknighted are pub bore Tim Martin, a Wetherspoon boss worth £322m who quibbles about paying staff the legal minimum wage, and half-baked Luke Johnson of the crumbling Patisserie Valerie cake chain.

No surrender to Arlene Foster! Westminster mutterings about Northern Ireland’s DUP MPs wanting to topple the First Minister are reaching my ears. The ten-strong band guard jealously their influence as a Commons tail vigorously wagging the Tory dog – resenting Foster’s bids to call the Brexit shots from Belfast. My informant with the pint of stout slurred that what holds them back, à la May and the Tories, is agreeing who should replace fag-ash Arl.

MPs locked in Portcullis House while parliamentary dad rock band MP4 filmed a promotional video – they release a new album soon and play a Speaker’s House gig on 25 October for a homelessness charity – complained they’re used to the din of rehearsals, but not suspended freedom of movement. Rhondda’s Chris Bryant mused that he shares office and constituency boundaries with Cardiff guitarist Kevin Brennan and it’s easier to escape the valleys than his desk. Brennan’s frequently told he looks like Elton John. Saturday Night’s Alright for Resembling.

I hear one of Nicola Sturgeon’s old party pieces was to joke about learning to duck when Alex Salmond tried to kiss her. Salad days.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Waiting to rejoin Labour is George Galloway, hoping his Iraq War expulsion is rescinded as unsafe by party general secretary Jennie Formby. Galloway retains comrades in high places: Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Len McCluskey also fought the invasion, his expulsion and believe an ex-MP who won and then lost in Bradford against Labour deserves readmission.

Content from our partners
What are the green skills of the future?
A global hub for content producers, gaming and entertainment companies in Abu Dhabi
Insurance: finding sustainable growth in stormy markets

New parliamentary security passes are double sided. Two-faced versions feel strangely appropriate.

Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

This article appears in the 17 Oct 2018 issue of the New Statesman, Europe’s civil war