August 10, 2022

Will Boris create his own political party?

What will Boris Johnson do next? The speech from Town Hall is that the Prime Minister could ‘do a George Osborne’ and become editor of the London evening standardproperty of his close friend Lord Lebedev.

But I hear of another, more exciting plan: Johnson, below, could create a new political party to take on his enemies in the establishment, copying that of Emmanuel Macron. The Republic On the Move! who upset France’s ruling elite in 2016. A sympathetic Tory donor, who has given hundreds of thousands of pounds to the party, tells me he would happily support a political movement led by Johnson: “If he did, I would support him.”

A low-key spokesman for Johnson said he “is prime minister until September 5. He will seriously consider his future after that date.”

Johnson’s support among the base “puts him in a very powerful position,” the donor says. “Boris holds all the aces.” WorkingBoris!


Advice from Francis Urquhart

On this great weekend of conservative conspiracy, I ask Card castle‘ author Michael Dobbs for the wisdom of his fictional Chief Whip Francis Urquhart, played by Ian Richardson, right.

“That old FU wouldn’t have had a chance these days,” he told me. “He would mutter, ‘What happened to my party, all of these candidates and not one of them are men, pale and stale’.”

As for advice, Urquhart reportedly said, “Remember that politics is the second oldest profession in the world, so go learn from the first and pretend you enjoy it while you do your duty.”


Cameron left red-faced

David Cameron has revealed he is considering taking medication to stop him blushing during Prime Minister’s Questions. The former prime minister told Politico’s Westminster Insider podcast that if he was caught off guard “it was very obvious because I blush very easily. A doctor friend of mine said to me, “Maybe you should take a beta-blocker before Prime Minister’s Questions.”

Cameron declined the offer. “I thought that was a terrible idea. Sometimes you get a little full of testosterone and get too excited. But I’ve never tried it. It’s time for a nice cup of tea, Dave.


Lights! Camera! Hancock!

Great excitement in Westminster where the former Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, walked followed by two cameramen.

Hancock’s team is quick to quash suggestions that he plans to star in his own Netflix documentary. “No film, I’m afraid”. He has just been interviewed about his life as an MP.

Or so he claims…


Govey goes to Ibiza

Last summer was buoyed by the surprise decision of Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove, in his 50s, to go clubbing in Aberdeen. Now I hear the ex-secretary of Leveling-Up plans to do better this year with a vacation to Ibiza, the Spanish clubbing island. “Expect for more crazy viral videos,” my source says in flip flops. I can not wait !


Neil topless

A quirky artistic find in the bowels of the BBC’s Westminster headquarters: a painting, below, of a topless Andrew Neil, complete with a tattoo of a naked woman on his arm, playing chess. Neil assures me that he didn’t pose for the painting. The legendary broadcaster told me the artist – believed to be SW1-based painter Kaya Mar – had done two portraits of Neil “without me posing for him and without my approval”.

He adds: “He tried to give me one and I said, ‘I don’t really want any, you should just burn them’.”


Give HM a Bafta!

Dame Maureen Lipman has asked the Queen for an acting award after Her Majesty’s star starred opposite Paddington Bear in a short film for Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

“I’m going to propose to Bafta that the queen be awarded Best Newcomer for Best Appearance in a Short Film,” Lipman said during a night out with the actress at Delaunay’s restaurant in London.

But she conceded the nonagenarian queen might be a bit long in the tooth for a best newcomer award.

“That would be like giving Dolly Parton a sports bra!” she says.


Peterborough, published every Friday at 7pm, is usually edited by Christopher Hope, the Telegraph’s chief political correspondent and author of the daily newsletter Chopper’s Politics. You can reach him at [email protected]