Geoffrey Cox’s parting shot

Geoffrey Cox's parting shot
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Geoffrey Cox has been causing the government a bit of trouble of late. Ahead of votes on Boris Johnson's internal market bill, the former attorney general has published an article in The Times on why he can't vote for it – accusing the Prime Minister of doing 'unconscionable' damage to Britain's international reputation through his proposals to break international law. The intervention has served to further invigorate would-be rebels – with senior members of government spending the afternoon calling around MPs ahead of the second reading of the bill this evening.

Now it appears Cox is about to provide additional embarrassment for the Prime Minister. He is absent from parliament today so will miss the vote – though he has said he will abstain. His proxy for this evening? None other than Johnson's trusty PPS Alex Burghart. Rather than help his boss and vote for the government twice, Burghart is on instructions to abstain on behalf of Cox. Given Burghart's role as the Prime Minister's parliamentary aide is to help with the smooth running of his business, performing the duties for government rebels was not in the job description. 

Still, it does provide inspiration for all those working from home, Cox proves that your physical presence is not required for you to stick it to your boss...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to

Topics in this articlePolitics