Londoner's Diary: Theresa May is a Spectator sport

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Emerging from the shrubbery in the garden of The Spectator offices in Westminster last night was Theresa May. She’d snuck in through the back gate, with Gavin Barwell, her new chief of staff, as her minder, for the mag’s summer party only to be confronted with impertinent questions. 

The first came from The Londoner.  “Theresa, is that the dress that made all the headlines — the one with all the cleavage?” “No, it’s not actually — it’s another one which made all the headlines because of the cleavage.” How many does she have? 

Next up was Nimrod Kamer, GQ magazine’s self-styled gonzo journalist (perhaps less Hunter S Thompson gonzo, and more muppet Gonzo). “I’m a Romanian passport-holder about to get deported,” he cried, while videoing the encounter. May assuaged him by citing his citizens’ rights. He wasn’t having any of it, protesting: “But I’m Israeli as well.” Spectator editor Fraser Nelson dispatched Kamer with a glower. 

At least he got in. Left standing in the foyer was Labour MP Emily Thornberry. “Turned away ’cos my wingman didn’t have an invite,” she said. “I could’ve gone in on my own but it was Lord Collins of Highbury, and nobody puts Ray-by in a corner,” she added. 

In rolled Boris Johnson, fresh from the launch of his father Stanley Johnson’s new EU referendum thriller Kompromat — see our story top right — which contains a thinly veiled portrait of BoJo. “Kompromat is so good I’m not even going to sue,” he said. 

Meanwhile, sister Rachel was found herself up close with Brexit Secretary David Davis. One would like to think Lib-Dem Rachel was sending a subtle Remain message to Davis by giving him French kisses — that is, giving him a peck on both cheeks. 


Alan Davidson/SHM/REX


French President Emmanuel Macron took Donald Trump to Le Jules Verne in Paris last night. The Michelin-starred restaurant on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower featured in the classic James Bond film A View To A Kill, in which a blond Christopher Walken plays a psychopathic industrialist. A coincidence, we’re sure.

Behind every great man, is a great, green-fingered woman

A letter to the New Statesman from Vince Cable’s wife Rachel Smith. Last week it interviewed the Lib-Dem at his Twickenham home, describing “A thick, green arch of privet honeysuckle and ivy” in the front garden. “There is not privet, or honeysuckle, or ivy in that archway,” Smith responds. “It’s cupressus (leylandii) and Virginia creeper. Bone up on your plants or leave it out.” 

Quote of the Day


(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

“My job was to save the party.”

The Lib-Dems’ Tim Farron, interviewed by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett today. Not sure if he managed it.

Elizabeth has her Day

Pressure is on author and journalist Elizabeth Day, who launched her riveting new novel The Party with a champagne-soaked event at The Curtain hotel in Shoreditch last night. “I realised today that calling my book The Party really meant I had to make the actual party a stonker,” she said to guests including novelists Sebastian Faulks and Nick Hornby. “The next book, I think, is going to have to be called Lonely Gathering for One in Front of Love Island.” Sounds like an inevitable bestseller.  

Sienna slams Little Miss TfL


Getty (FilmMagic)

Sienna Miller is currently treading the boards in Tennessee Williams’s classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand the importance of children’s literature. The actress has attacked Tfl for its use of Mr Men and Little Miss for what she considers an anti-female advert.

Yesterday, Miller, snapped one of the ads seen on the Tube that use the classic cartoons by Roger Hargreaves as public- service announcements. She took issue with their choice of Little Miss Stubborn as a particularly inconsiderate commuter. “Hey Mr Mayor,” she wrote on her Instagram, tagging Sadiq Khan in the post. “Could we please get a simultaneous ‘Mr Stubborn’ poster on the Tube, to even things out? Respectfully, Little Miss Feminist.” The post was liked by 5,000 of her followers, including pal Cara Delevingne.

Tfl, we should point out, also uses Mr Strong as an example of a pesky door- obstructor. Mr Cool and Little Miss Helpful also feature as exhibiting more virtuous behaviour. Perhaps Little Miss Feminist could be added to the roster in future.

Tweet of the Day


Writer Seb Emina responds to the news that the body of surrealist artist Salvador Dalí is to be exhumed for a paternity test. 

Stanley and the other ex-Mayor


Mark Rusher

Over to Daunt’s in Marylebone, where Stanley Johnson launched his new thriller, Kompromat, with both Boris and Ken Livingstone raising a glass. The novel is about how the Russians affected the referendum result to create chaos (like we needed their help), featuring some familiar political caricatures

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