Mark Francois, Arlene Foster and John Redwood have just taken part in a panel discussion on Brexit at Manchester’s Comedy Club (where else?). Francois quoted Robert Frost’s poetry as he made his plea to the audience that he wanted ‘to live in a free country’ outside the EU. It won’t come as much of a surprise that there was no love lost for Brussels’ bureaucrats at the event, but there was a bigger bogeyman in the audience: Francois’s former Tory party colleagues.
The Tory Brexiteer and self-declared ‘Spartan’ reeled off a list of names of those who he said would never support Britain leaving the EU. Among a group of politicians that included Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, the biggest boos were reserved for the likes of Dominic Grieve and Philip Hammond:
‘Blair, that big seeker after truth himself, Mandelson, Grieve (sustained booing), Hammond (sustained booing)…Heseltine, Benn, Cooper and Swinson. Who will never support leaving the European Union under any circumstances whatsoever.’
Mr S finds it hard to believe that this time last year Hammond was centre stage at the Tory party conference. A year is a very long time in politics…