Boris couldn't make it but fortunately there was one Tory premier at last night's Spectator parliamentarian awards. Former Prime Minister Theresa May appeared to be having the time of her life at the star-studded bash, rocking a fabulous blue number and waltzing up on stage to win Backbencher of the Year to the strains of ABBA's 'Dancing Queen.' Collecting the award from her former colleague Robert Buckland, May noted drily: 'Thank you to all those of my parliamentary colleagues who ensured that I was on the backbenches – some of you are here tonight. Looking in no direction...'
But while that line prompted some laughs, it was what followed which really brought the house down. Lauding her constituency, she remarked 'You must never forget your base' before revealing she got so excited about the night that 'I thought about going out to John Lewis and buying myself a new outfit – they do things other than wallpaper you know.'
She praised The Spectator 'for keeping us on our toes and giving back the furlough money that you took during lockdown,' spoke highly of the current Speaker Lindsay Hoyle – 'thank you for not being John Bercow' – before expressing her warm wishes for her parliamentary peers: 'thank you to all those Members of Parliament who come up to me and say how much you appreciate my speeches – even if you are all Labour and Liberal Democrat.' May concluded her well-received speech by saying:
“Experience can be overrated. I'm reminded of the story of the couple who got together and they'd both had several partners and on their first night together, he was a little surprised to discover that she was still a virgin and he asked her how was this was. She said, well, she'd had a number of partners, but they had all been politicians. She said the first was a member of the Labour Party and he kept telling me "It could all be so much better!" But he didn't have a plan of how to do it. The second was a Liberal Democrat and he could never get into the position to do it. And he said "Well, what about the last guy?" And she said, "Well he was a member of the SNP. He just sat on the end of the bed and told me to go independent."
Strong and stable indeed.