Commons Confidential: Boris the Brexiteers’ puppet

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Held hostage by a Brextremist troika of Iain Duncan Smith, Priti Patel and Dominic Raab at the final-showdown leadership debate hosted by the Sun and Talkradio, Boris Johnson awaits Trotsky’s fate if he betrays fanatical Tory no- dealers. The slippery liar arrived surrounded by a large gang of anti-Europe zealots, suggesting they don’t trust him – there’s little doubt that No 10 is in the bag for Johnson when Jeremy Hunt’s modest entourage could have fitted in an Uber. Eyewitnesses muttered that the blond huckster looked more puppet than prime minister-in-waiting.

Mistaken regularly for Ed Sheeran, Labour peer Stewart Wood has started living a double life after tiring of explaining to disappointed tourists that he’s actually a ginger former adviser to Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. Mobbed by excited Japanese fans of the singer in Westminster Underground station, the grinning doppelgänger posed happily for photographs. Somewhere in Kyoto, people are boring their friends with fake snaps. However, I’ve received no reports of Ed Sheeran being confused with Stewart Wood.

Snouts giggle that Tory whip Jo Churchill was detained in a lavatory before her failure to vote resulted in the government losing by one an amendment enabling parliament to block a no-deal Brexit. The Bury St Edmunds MP, who had earlier cast a proxy vote for Norwich’s Chloe Smith, looked flushed.

Fair do’s when Jeremy Corbyn goes out of his way to stay in touch with old comrades. On his way back to London from Durham, he diverted to Hartlepool to visit a former Islington constituent called Carol. Corbyn’s was the first face she saw coming out of a coma years ago after a vicious mugging. She was pleased to see him, unlike most of his MPs.

John McDonnell’s international social forum on the day of cricket’s World Cup finale exposed a deep split in the shadow chancellor’s close-knit team, Max Harris turning up in his New Zealand shirt and Rory Macqueen in an England top. The economics pointy heads were united in despair at missing the Lord’s match until an old projector was found in a cupboard to screen the game. The workers, united, will never be defeated to watch the cricket.

Chillaxing David Cameron didn’t appear to have a care in the world while queuing in the local Spar in Polzeath – Waitrose being yet to open a branch near the Cornish holiday home of Britain’s worst postwar PM. My informant noticed that shoppers ignored or didn’t recognise an arrogant has-been who once boasted he was the future. Dave who?

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 19 July 2019 issue of the New Statesman, The Facebook fixer

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