Steerpike

David Lidington is saved by the bell

David Lidington is saved by the bell
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The Westminster sleaze scandal has resulted in many awkward conversations having to be had across Parliament. However, at yesterday's Press Gallery lunch, David Lidington was on hand to let it be known that this in itself is nothing new.

Back when the Tories were in Opposition, the Conservative MP was tasked with updating Ann Widdecombe, then shadow home secretary, on which sexual offences that would be covered by a new piece of legislation:

'I went through cottaging, cruising, incest, bestiality,' he told a room full of lobby hacks. Widdecombe's reaction? 'Her eyebrows were getting higher as her jaw dropped lower'. Happily the pair were saved by the bell when Ann's phone started ringing with La donna e mobile ringing out. As she went to leave,  she brought the topic to a close for good: 'As far as I’m concerned, they all should be banned.'

Also on the menu at the lunch was Brexit. Lidington tried to enthuse lagging political journalists about the excitement of Britain's exit from the EU. 'How can you say that Brexit is boring? You've never had to sit through an EU Council justice ministers' meeting on the proposals for amended council framework position 2000 3015/JHA on the exchange of third party nationals and with regards to the EU criminal records information system and replacing council decision 2009 3167HA.'

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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