Isabel Hardman

Tory MPs grumpy about ‘arm candy’ photo rota

Tory MPs grumpy about ‘arm candy’ photo rota
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One of the fun jobs that new Tory MPs have to perform at conference is joining the special rota to follow David Cameron around. This isn’t a new rota, but it seems to have especially annoyed a number of the rather impressive 2015 intake, particularly some of the female MPs who think they are being used as arm candy. The rota involves walking with the Prime Minister between buildings so that when he is photographed, he has an entourage of supportive MPs with him, and so that they get their chance to have a picture of them walking with the PM in the national media. The photo above, of new Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell, is one such example.

The new MPs were called in last week to be briefed about the importance of this job of walking alongside the boss (what a strange job MPs do), and told that they were on a three-line whip to attend the Prime Minister’s speech, too (though they are currently a very grateful and loyal intake who would be unlikely to miss it).

But this exciting opportunity to be pictured with the Prime Minister doesn’t seem to have quite enthused some of those who have had to walk around with him so far. ‘I didn’t get into Parliament to be a bit of f***ing arm candy,’ mutters one. Older hands think they are being rather ungrateful, given it’s something all new MPs are expected to do and it is exciting publicity to be pictured walking and talking with the Prime Minister – but other new hands also think they’re being ungrateful, as they’re blokes who are still waiting for their call to walk between buildings with the boss.