Commons Confidential: Stone-cold Sadiq becomes red-hot ticket

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Brextremist supporters of Boris Johnson are understandably nervous that the narcissist backed remaining in the single market and a second referendum before calculating that championing a European exit would be a worthwhile career gamble. The skittish Tory front-runner for No 10 did nothing to reassure jumpy hardliners in a phone call to Andrew Bridgen, diehard no-dealer and an early endorser. “Andrew, when it comes to the crunch can I rely on you?” the wannabe prime minister is said to have demanded. Bridgen discovered the fickle egotist seeks fealty without returning loyalty. “Boris, when it comes to the crunch can I rely on you?” replied the Leicestershire MP. Silence. “Boris? Boris? Are you still there, Boris?” Answer came there none. Click, Brrrrrrr…

Jeremy Hunt, deploying wife Lucia as a human shield, has colleagues wondering if she’d make a better PM. My snout witnessed an eyebrow-raising moment following his Chinese-born spouse’s silent if smiling appearance at the launch of the Foreign Secretary’s Downing Street bid. She was observed leaning over in a Commons cafeteria to cut up food on hubby’s plate before he wolfed down his dinner. Maybe, as well as questions about drugs, all Tory candidates should be asked if they can tie their own shoelaces.

Sadiq Khan owes Donald Trump. The tweeting tinpot tyrant’s “stone-cold loser” outburst has transformed the London Mayor into the Labour movement’s red-hot ticket. Durham miners have invited Khan to address England’s northern working class at next month’s annual gala, alongside Jeremy Corbyn and Len McCluskey. Lefties choosing an enemy find a useful foe in the intemperate US president.

Tories toying with how to spike Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party are proposing ermine to entice the Thatcherite back into the Conservatives. The establishment wannabe yearning for a knighthood would, so the thinking goes, eat his £300 Union Jack shoes and walk barefoot over broken beer bottles for a peerage. Stranger things have happened.

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins was spied by a diplomat strolling in St James’s Park with a small backpack as Theresa May and Her Maj rolled out the red carpet for Trump. Training for when
the new Tory PM orders him to walk? Cheers to Michael Gove for persuading Strangers’ Bar in parliament to sell local Ascot tipple Starting Gate at the beginning of the Conservative leadership race.Some thirsty MPs wonder if stocking Doom Bar would better reflect the former cocaine snorter’s hopes.

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 14 June 2019 issue of the New Statesman, The closing of the conservative mind