How unfortunate that the Supreme Leader didn’t decide to ‘listen and govern’ before the election rather than after it.
The corridor outside committee room 14 was almost full by 4.15pm. With journalists. It was 20 or so minutes later that the first Tory MPs and peers started to arrive for the meeting of the 1922 Committee. Among the first to arrive were Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, eager to get a front-row seat for the Maybot’s humiliation. Morgan looked particularly bright-eyed and chipper.
Boris Johnson was the first cabinet member to arrive. Almost as if he had a point to prove. For the last couple of days he had been seen out and about wearing London Olympics clobber. Given that 2012 was the last time anyone in the country had found the foreign secretary particularly interesting, this had seemed suspiciously like a stage-managed leadership bid. But for this meeting Boris was 100% behind the Supreme Leader. Or as close as he could get to it.
As was Michael Gove, who was the next cabinet minister to make his entrance. Now wasn’t the time to stab anyone in the back. That could wait for an hour or two. For now the newly appointed environment minister was only too happy to guarantee EU subsidies for any farmer willing to grow fields of wheat for the Maybot to run through. Philip Hammond arrived grim-faced and head down. Being allowed to stay on as chancellor only because the Supreme Leader was too weak to sack him wasn’t great for his self-esteem.