Theresa May has a laugh at the Westminster Correspondents' Dinner

Written by Dods staff on 1 March 2018 in Diary

David Cameron, Amber Rudd, Matt Hancock, Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, Jeremy Hunt, Jeremy Corbyn and Seamus Milne were among the PM’s targets.

Theresa May received a rapturous response last night (yes, you read that correctly) as she addressed the Westminster Correspondents Dinner.

“I am, of course, absolutely delighted to be here,” she began, a tad sarcastically. “Because after all, what says ‘Theresa May’ more than a comic speech at a boozy dinner for a room full of journalists? I feel right at home.”

May followed in the footsteps of Ed Miliband and George Osborne as she raised the roof with a string of self-deprecating and cutting asides.

This year, the dinner did not take place in the Palace of Westminster but in the grand hall at One Great George Street just across the road from parliament. It’s not clear exactly who wrote May’s speech, but Number 10 staffers Robbie Gibb, James Slack, Paul Harrison, Kirsty Buchanan and Dylan Sharpe were all watching on…




On David Cameron and Amber Rudd...

"The weather has been rather bad in West Oxfordshire and sadly David couldn’t make it because he is snowed in to his wheely shed.

"But I was able to catch up with David over the phone and as ever he had some excellent advice – don’t worry about Boris, don’t worry about the chancellor, worry about ambitious female home secretaries… Lovely to see you tonight Amber."


On the Matt Hancock app...

"So enthusiastic is Matt for the UK’s digital future that I think he has transcended into a higher state of existence. He’s thrown off the bonds of flesh and blood. Matt Hancock actually is now an app. He only talks to me by way of alarming phone notifications…

"'Matt Hancock would like to track your location'. 'Matt Hancock would like to access your photos' - and most worryingly of all 'there is a fault with Matt Hancock'.

"Other ministers are following his lead. The Boris Johnson app is great for extending your vocabulary, but it does contain some adult content. The Philip Hammond app is like a drier, less frivolous version of LinkedIn…

"Tonight I can reveal that I am working on my own app. It provides GPS directions to your nearest wheat field, real time tracking of Priti Patel’s air travel and the instant allocation of all household chores into girl jobs and boy jobs."


On Jeremy Corbyn...

"Last year cinema goers were wowed by a brilliant film by the makers of The Thick Of It and Veep called The Death of Stalin. It told the story of an ageing socialist demagogue who maintains his power through a sinister personality cult, rewriting history and crushing all internal descent. I know we’re all very sorry that Jeremy Corbyn can’t be here tonight.

“Now we know that Jeremy has some concerns about press ownership in Britain, of course that didn’t stop him from appearing on the Iranian state-owned press TV for years. He’ll take a fee from a broadcaster under the ayatollah, but Lord Rothermere had better just look out come the revolution.”


On the prospect of Labour taking power…

"Jeremy declared he’d be PM by Christmas. And if that day ever comes there will be a few changes round here.

“I’ll be breaking rocks in John McDonnell’s re-education camp on the Isle of Man along with Chuka Umunna, Liz Kendall and other undesirables. And you’d all be adjusting to a new reality too. Catching up with the latest government initiative trailed exclusively to Skwawkbox, doing your best to keep on the right side of press commissar Milne. If you don’t know him he’s like a sort of posh Alastair Campbell without the warm and cuddly side.

“But of course whatever else, Jeremy Hunt would still be health secretary."


She even made a sex joke...

"I remember in my time as a politician one canvassing trip particularly that sticks in my memory. I was at the open door of a caravan and there was clearly some activity within so I knocked and there was no answer but the activity persisted.

“It looked like it was someone lying down so I knocked again. Again there was no reply so I put my head around the door and there was indeed somebody lying down. It was not one person, it was two and it was not the best time to ask them if they were going to vote Conservative.

“I have to say they were giving a whole new meaning to deep and special partnership."





Picture credit: Press Association






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