Suella gets closer to fiercest rival
Earlier this week those rascals at the infamous Popb**ch newsletter stole Sir Arbuthnot’s thunder somewhat when getting in there first to reveal former Home Secretary Suella Braverman has had something of an office downgrade.
After being forced out of her grand ministerial office in the Palace of Westminster following her sacking, she’s now been moved into a pokey little space in the modern surroundings of Portcullis House.
Her room, in fact, used to be a photocopying space, so MPs can presumably expect an increase in the frequency of her letters.
What Popbitch overlooked is Ms Braverman’s new office means she is now sharing a floor with none other than her arch-right-wing rival Priti Patel.
Hopefully their respective MP leadership backers don’t get the two rooms mixed up…
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Grant Shapps’s Christmas well wishes
Talking of Commons’ offices, Grant Shapps welcomed assembled hacks for a reception in parliament earlier this week.
Unlike gatherings held by the now ex-DEFRA secretary Therese Coffey, there was no karaoke on the agenda, but the Defence Secretary did give an upbeat speech with a few jokes.
Among them, Mr Shapps revealed he’d been sent a Christmas card from the Permanent Secretary of the Home Office, who had clearly spent so much time writing the seasonal greetings he failed to prepare for his committee showdown with Lee Anderson.
Mr Shapps spoke fondly of his time as Home Secretary – a whole six days – which means he is “the only Home Secretary to leave without a blemish on my record”.
“Or, as the permanent secretary said to me in his Christmas card: ‘Thanks very much for coming in for a week’s work experience’.”
Steve Baker continues repenting
Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker has been on something of a journey since the heated days of Brexit back in 2018-19.
In October, the “hard man of Brexit” has since expressed regret that the EU referendum didn’t require a “supermajority” of 60 percent in order to pass, saying it would have made negotiations easier and reduced political tensions.
It also seems Mr Baker has been on a journey regarding his relationship with former Prime Minister Theresa May.
He arguably played one of the most significant roles in bringing her down, voting against Mrs May’s Brexit deal all three times and acting as a constant critic of her attempts to compromise with the EU.
Earlier this week guests at a Women’s Network Q&A with Theresa May and former Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt were surprised to see Mr Baker in attendance.
Given his efforts to force Mrs May out of No. 10, they were equally surprised to hear him ask his own question of the former PM: “How do we get more women into politics?”
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Foreign Office festive games
Given the myriad crises abroad, not least in Israel and Ukraine, you’d hope our great and good civil servants at the Foreign Office had their minds on their work.
On Friday, however, word reaches Sir Arbuthnot that the blob spent three hours playing “hunt the secret Santa”.
Spotted in parliament:
Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg stopped Matt Hancock for a quick chinwag underneath the colonnades in Parliament.
The MP for North East Somerset was heard informing Mr Hancock that he hasn’t been tuning in for this year’s broadcast staring fellow GB News host Nigel Farage.
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