ANDREW PIERCE: The Thatcher thrift that Boris Johnson may be taught in No10
With an unprecedented Electoral Fee investigation into the refurbishment of his Downing Avenue flat, Boris Johnson may have prevented a number of hassle if solely he had adopted the instance set by one in all his illustrious — and thrifty — predecessors.
As chatelaine of No 10, Margaret Thatcher utilized the identical rigour to spending on decor as she did to the nation’s funds. On one event, the Iron Woman vetoed plans for a brand new carpet in her examine.
‘There was a small threadbare sq. in entrance of her favorite armchair,’ one in all her former advisers advised me this week. ‘Her officers needed a brand new carpet however she was having none of it.’
Boris Johnson may have prevented a number of hassle if solely he had adopted the instance set by one in all his illustrious — and thrifty — predecessors
She directed them to go looking the cellar to see if offcuts left over from the unique becoming had been saved there and, positive sufficient, they discovered some.
They minimize out a sq. and positioned it over the offending area. The outcome? ‘One vivid sq. in a sea of light inexperienced pile, however Maggie was satisfied to bits,’ my supply tells me.
In her memoir, The Downing Avenue Years, Baroness Thatcher wrote: ‘I had the examine re-papered at my very own expense. Its unappealing sage-green damask flock wallpaper was stripped and changed by a cream stripe, which was a a lot better background.’
Sir Anthony Seldon, whose new ebook The Inconceivable Workplace? examines the file of the nation’s 55 Prime Ministers over 300 years, confirms: ‘It’s true Thatcher was very cautious about public cash being spent.’
Boris and his fiancee Carrie ought to take notice!
Sir Bernard Ingham, who was Margaret Thatcher’s formidable press secretary, has a waspish tackle ‘wallpaper-gate’.
‘No 10 seems to be a reasonably correct reflection of its untidily hirsute elected incumbent. Vibrant, however not precisely smart, cavalier, disorganised, shambling and busking it too typically.’ Fairly.
Keir papering over the cracks
Tory MPs queued as much as take potshots at Sir Keir Starmer after the Labour chief’s cringe-making photo-op within the wallpaper division at Manchester’s John Lewis retailer. Former minister Tim Loughton tweeted: ‘Keir Starmer: all the time knowingly oversold.’
Well being minister Nadine Dorries weighed in: ‘You retain obsessing over wallpaper, Keir, and we’ll preserve delivering on vaccines, Brexit, commerce and jobs and keep forward within the polls.’
Tory MPs queued as much as take potshots at Sir Keir Starmer after the Labour chief’s cringe-making photo-op within the wallpaper division at Manchester’s John Lewis retailer
Two MPs overheard within the Commons speaking in regards to the proposed Covid passports: ‘They need to be known as the ‘‘John Prescott’’ to show you’ve had two jabs.’ The previous Labour bruiser — nickname Two Jags — would likely approve.
Tory MP Michael Fabricant — with the blond ‘do’ that makes Boris’s mop prime look restrained — spots one thing about new TV channel GB Information, which has lured prime presenters. ‘OMG! Their brand incorporates a Union Jack!’ he says. ‘The BBC won’t ever re-employ any of them once more!’ He’s most likely proper.
After one of many largest miscarriages of justice in British historical past, 39 former sub-postmasters had their convictions for theft overturned on the Courtroom of Attraction. But within the 90-minute emergency assertion within the Commons final week, just one Lib Dem MP, Christine Jardine, could possibly be bothered to talk. When many prosecutions had been happening, celebration chief Sir Ed Davey was Publish Workplace minister. Former chief Sir Vince Cable was Enterprise Secretary with accountability for the Publish Workplace. Cable has retired however shouldn’t Davey have proven his face within the Commons by way of Zoom? Or was he too embarrassed?
Rayner’s ridiculous affront
Labour deputy chief Angela Rayner got here horribly unstuck when she tried to embarrass the Tory candidate Jill Mortimer in Thursday’s by-election marketing campaign in Hartlepool.
She demanded Mortimer publish her tax returns after accusing her of dwelling for years within the Cayman Islands tax haven.
In truth, Mortimer moved there when her then husband, Marcus Killick, a barrister, was appointed head of monetary regulation specialising in counter-fraud and anti-corruption.
Tory co-chairman Amanda Milling stated: ‘That is an eye-popping error from Angela Rayner.’
Labour deputy chief Angela Rayner got here horribly unstuck when she tried to embarrass the Tory candidate Jill Mortimer in Thursday’s by-election marketing campaign in Hartlepool