Commons Confidential: Political flibbertigibbet Rachel

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No wonder Tory wannabes fanning across the country aren’t waiting for Theresa May’s resignation to woo their 120,000-weak sect. One can only imagine what tasty morsels Dominic Raab relayed about the Prime Minister when the PR-hungry aspirant demanded no leaks from Conservative rubber chicken meetings in Ludlow and Shrewsbury. Boris Johnson takes a different view of publicity, so three West Midlands camera stops in a day included a photo call in a Bloxwich chippy with Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes. The serial liar looked as out of plaice as lobster thermidor. Soon May will be the sole Tory not canvassed by her potential successors.

Political flibbertigibbet Rachel “sister of Boris” Johnson’s journey to Change MEP candidate from Conservative campaigner, via Liberal Democrat membership, in less than three years could have been halted, I hear. Lib Dem snouts say she yearned to top their party’s London list without a selection rigmarole and was wooed by Chuka Umunna’s guarantee of his band’s south-west top slot. Blonde ambition runs in the family.


Stevenage council’s enterprising Labour leader, Sharon Taylor, pursued an unorthodox route to secure a first formal meeting in nine years with the Hertfordshire town’s elusive Tory MP, Stephen McPartland. Friends gave her a tea-with-the-MP charity prize they won. Cups rattled in saucers as financial injury was added to bruised pride – McPartland had to pick up the Pugin Room bill for Taylor’s ear-bashing. He’s lucky the prize wasn’t dinner.

Brextremist Tory city slicker John Baron doesn’t hide his savings under a mattress. The Basildon quitter emailed colleagues boasting that his investment portfolio’s doing well despite uncertainty over Britain’s future. Every crisis is an opportunity.

Privatised Royal Mail’s gratitude to Vince Cable isn’t in the post after he sold the public service on the cheap during the ConDem coalition. The Hampton delivery office in his Twickenham constituency will shut down this month despite his protests. He’ll have to send himself a letter of complaint.

Cheers to the snout who sent a Treasury declaration showing Chancellor Philip Hammond’s special advisers keeping whisky and vodka sent as gifts, but returning the non-alcoholic beer. Working for Spreadsheet Phil is clearly intoxicating.

Red faces in the ermined end of the mock-Gothic fun palace, where stoat wearers boasted that the Sports and Social Club had sobered up since they took over the watering hole and renamed it the Woolsack. A peer as drunk as a lord was required to grovel for unsporting and unsociable behaviour.

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

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 appears in the 08 May 2019 issue of the New Statesman, Age of extremes

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