James Forsyth

Cameron, Villa and the succession

Cameron, Villa and the succession
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The Prime Minister is, as we know an Aston Villa fan. So we can expect him to be disappointed at Martin O’Neill’s departure. On his trip to Birmingham the other week, Cameron’s support for Villa caused the PM to, as the phrase has it, misspeak. He told the Birmingham Post that with “the Governor of the Bank of England as a supporter, the next King of England and the current Prime Minister, [Aston Villa] got a good set” of fans in high places. But his reference to the next King of England being a Villa fan will raise a few eyebrows as it is Prince William — not Prince Charles — who is the Royal Villain.

Now it is obvious that Cameron just slipped up and that he didn’t mean to impart any information about the succession. But it is an illustration of how tricky the tight-rope a modern Prime Minister walks is. If he speaks off the cuff, he’s bound to make the odd slip. But if he doesn’t, he’ll seem stilted and aloof.