Boris, Dave and George: three men whose fates have long been intwined. Elected on the same day, they rose rapidly through the ranks together before their fateful fall out over the Brexit referendum. Cameron’s memoirs subsequently criticised Johnson for opportunism; Osborne has delivered his own jibes via Evening Standard leader columns and infrequent interviews.
But word reaches Steerpike that next month the trio may be willing to put aside past tensions for at least one night. For all three former Bullingdon alumni have been invited to a fancy dinner to mark the twentieth anniversary of the 2001 general election for those Tories elected as part of the intake. Organised by – who else? – Chris Grayling, the occasion has been specially scheduled for a night Johnson can make, setting up the prospect of a rare (semi-public) reunion with his Etonian predecessor.
The occasion will no doubt bring back a lot of memories for Cameron. A decade ago it was him in Number 10, hosting the tenth anniversary party for members of his intake. The seating plan offers ample opportunities for mischief to be had, given the likely guest list. Will, for instance, the former PM be sat next to Patrick Mercer, the former shadow minister he effectively sacked in 2007? Or perhaps Hugo Swire, whose wife’s diaries so amused Westminster last year?
More amenable company could be found perhaps in fellow Notting Hill chum Greg Barker, now ensconced in the Lords. Paul Goodman can no doubt offer the latest gossip from his present perch at Conservative Home while Brexit spartan Mark Francois can give the ex-premier a preview of his forthcoming book. What Mr S would give to be a fly on that wall that evening…