Ruth Davidson talks ‘gutter journalism’ and ‘shovel-faced lesbians’

Written by David Singleton on 12 July 2016 in Diary

The Scottish Tory leader had a few gags up her sleeve as she dined with the parliamentary press gallery.

Ruth Davidson took a hearty swipe at Andrea Leadsom as she sat down for lunch with lobby journalists.

The Scottish Tory leader also revealed how she had shocked the prime minister’s spin chief Craig Oliver with a rather unkind description of Angela Eagle (and herself) during the Brexit debate.

And she compared the Tories to a contented lover enjoying "a post-coital cigarette after withdrawing our massive Johnson". No really.

With guest speakers supposed to bring jokes as well as a news line to these occasions, it’s fair to say that Davidson did not disappoint her fellow diners in the Palace of Westminster.


On Andrea Leadsom

Davidson glided smoothly in to her expert skewering of the Tory leadership contender who was accused of exaggerating her CV and who tried to claim that reporting what she had said was gutter journalism.

"Before politics not only was I a BBC journalist, I single handedly saved the British banking system during the Barings collapse, I piloted Apollo 13 back down to earth. A little-known fact is that I was the original Misha the bear at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, which is the same year that I won Eurovision, which, speaking as a mother, is a hard thing to do."

And that was not the end of it. After commenting on the state of the Labour and Tory parties, she added:

"I didn’t say that. You can’t report that. And it would be gutter journalism of the highest order if you have written down exactly what I just said."

On Craig Oliver and Angela Eagle

Davidson revealed that she had been called by No 10 director of communications Craig Oliver who was asking her to take part in the Wembley Brexit debate alongside Angela Eagle. She told him:

"That’s great. I’m more than happy, as you know I love a fight. But are you absolutely sure you want two short-haired, flat shoes, shovel-faced lesbians with northern accents? This is a whole UK-wide debate and that’s narrow casting."

Davidson then told the lobby how Cameron’s spin chief had been taken aback by her robust tone.

"I don’t think he’d ever been spoken to in that way before, because he turned essentially into Hugh Grant in his response."


On sex…. and Stephen Crabb

What is the difference between the the Labour and Tory parties at the moment? Davidson had an eye-catching description - combined with a delightful dig at the cabinet minister who was recently embarrassed by a story in the papers concerning a young lady and a few text messages.

"I am pleased to hear that the PLP is about to show how united they are by launching possibly a second unity candidate against the first. All of this has happened in the time that it takes for Theresa to take the crown.

"That’s kind of the difference between our two parties. You know, Labour’s still fumbling with its flies while the Tories are enjoying a post-coital cigarette after withdrawing our massive Johnson.

"Sorry that’s not even my speech, that’s just a text from Stephen Crabb...."



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