Steerpike

Remainers throw tantrum over lawsuit credit

Remainers throw tantrum over lawsuit credit
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Jolyon Maugham is a man of many talents. He's a talented tax barrister, who helped enrich various millionaires via celebrity tax dodge film schemes. He's a serial joiner of political causes, boasting more parties than Hugh Hefner though, sadly, with far less joy. And, of course, he is the remain-supporting QC who ended up on the front page of the Financial Times for bragging about battering a fox to death on Boxing Day with a baseball bat while wearing his wife's satin green kimono.

Sadly though, for all his many, many qualities, FBPE's answer to Babe Ruth does not appear to count humility among them. The millionaire windmill enthusiast is never knowingly undersold online, regularly puffing his latest legal wheeze on Twitter to armies of adoring Europhiles. Successes are loudly celebrated; reversals quietly buried – as when Maugham dropped his lawsuit against vaccines hero Kate Bingham, an appointment he'd previously described as an offence 'to the England of my mind.'

Fortunately for Maugham, self-aggrandisement is a common trait for many in the Remainer movement. There's Andrew Adonis, the former Transport Secretary who, when asked to name his dream Cabinet, included himself as Transport Secretary. There's AC Grayling, the Oxford academic, who claimed '90 per cent of informed opinion' was against Brexit and demanded others back his call for a general strike. And then there's James O'Brien, the LBC presenter who wrote the book 'How to Be Right' – no comment necessary.

Now Maugham himself has today had the pleasure of experiencing the unbridled online egotism of his Remainer chums. The fox-beater last night tweeted out a BBC news story about a lawsuit to ministers' use of private emails to conduct government business, along with (yet another) crowdfunder to fund it. At this, a rival legal campaign – The Citizens – took umbrage and demanded credit as 'this report is actually about our case.'

A haughty Maugham hit back, claiming to be 'a little baffled' sniffing that 'I would have thought you'd welcome us amplifying your successes?' The Citizens have now deleted their tweet but the exchange highlights just some of the tensions between various rabid Remainer factions in their bids to topple the government/reverse Brexit/gain Twitter clout (delete as appropriate.) That group in question has had some £221,000 raised to date for judicial review proceedings by four MPs – Ben Bradshaw, Chris Bryant, Caroline Lucas and Alyn Smith.

Mr S wonders whether that's four more names off Maugham's ever-shrinking Christmas card list. Still, given how he chose to mark the festive season two years ago, perhaps the lack of his endorsement is no bad thing.

Written bySteerpike

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

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