Commons Confidential: SAS reservist David Davis vows not to “kill” Theresa May

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The Tale of Two Resignations, after David Davis’s departure shamed Alexander Boris de Piffle Johnson into following him out of the cabinet, couldn’t have produced a sharper contrast. Davis headed to Portcullis House where the former Brexit secretary was later overheard chatting with Labour shadow Keir Starmer. Declaring that he had no intention of “killing” Theresa May, the SAS reservist enquired about the dates of crucial customs and trade votes (Starmer replied Monday and Tuesday next week). Johnson, I’m told, devoted the hours spent waiting for a photographer to snap him signing his resignation letter organising a bolt-hole. He lost the foreign secretary’s grace and favour Carlton Gardens pad, my informant whispering that the family’s Islington home is rented out for £10,000-plus a year. Johnson’s keen to resume his “chicken feed” £250,000 Telegraph column. Unless the Sun or  Daily Mail offer more, obvs.

Labour MP Stephen Kinnock isn’t letting his opposition to the World Cup spoil the football. The Aberavon crusader cheered England in Strangers’ Bar without the black armband he urged Harry Kane & Co to wear in Russia. Down the corridor in the Lords’ Bar, Tory Michael Fallon inadvertently revealed that he prefers oval to round balls. After 75 minutes against Colombia he opined loudly, “Don’t worry, there’s only five minutes to go.” Football’s a 90 mins game, rugby 80. At full time with the score 1-1 he scarpered, no doubt unaware that extra time followed and, ultimately, penalties.

The SNP left boxes of chocs for House of Commons doorkeepers and staff after deliberately triggering votes during an England match. Nat hooligans playing political games left a bad taste in the mouths of parliamentary grafters dragged from TV screens.

Amber Rudd’s still struggling with the loss of high office. On learning that two people rushed into Salisbury hospital had been  poisoned by Novichok, one subsequently dying, the ex-home secretary exclaimed, “I knew it! I knew it! Nobody tells me anything any more.” Quite. Rudderless told chums that she’s stopped by folk asking if she’s “AmberRudd” pronounced as a single word. “When I reply ‘Yes’,” she sniffed, “they say ‘I thought so,’ and toddle off.” She’s living Boris Johnson’s future.

Auction lots at the opulent Tory bankroller in the Hurlingham Club for just-about-managing City slickers included a half-drunk bottle of Commons whisky signed by Heath, Thatcher, Major, Cameron and May and, separately, dinner for eight cooked by cordon bleu MP Stephen Hammond. The items should’ve been a job lot. The tight Wimbledon chef dryly warned: “Drinks not included.” 

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 13 July 2018 issue of the New Statesman, The Brexit farce