This time last year, George Osborne was the Chancellor of the Exchequer and tipped to be the next Prime Minister. One year on and — in the aftermath of the Brexit result — the MP for Tatton is now a backbencher. Happily, Osborne had a chance to reunite with his old Cabinet friends, aka ‘besties’ — as the host of the Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year awards. Like or loathe Osborne, his speech was sensational.
Following a turbulent year in politics, tonight’s gongs made for some interesting acceptance speeches. While Sadiq Khan paid tribute to his mayoral rival Zac Goldsmith for helping him to achieve his large mandate, Boris Johnson promised to make a ‘titanic success’ of Brexit. This led to cries of “it sank!” as the Prime Minister buried her head in her hands. When the Foreign Secretary clocked that ‘titanic’ was not the most apt description, he rephrased and went for colossal.
However BoJo gaffes aside, it was once again Sir Craig who found himself in the firing line. David Cameron’s former director of comms felt the ire of Theresa May, as the Prime Minister — dressed in a hard hat — gave her acceptance speech for politician of the year:
‘I’m particularly pleased to see that Craig Oliver… sorry Sir Craig, is here tonight. In his book he said that when he heard the result of the referendum, he walked out of the office and as he walked into Whitehall started retching violently.
I have to say that I think we all understand that feeling, most of us experienced it too when we saw his name on the resignations honours list.’
Oh, and Theresa May told Boris that she would put him down like one of Michael Heseltine’s dogs if she needed to. It seems the Cameroon era really has come to an abrupt end.
Here are a selection of photos from the night, courtesy of Alan Davidson: