‘Bollocks to Bercow,’ ‘I’m going to say lion’: Tory candidates for PM bring eccentricity to the race
It was the turn of three more contenders for Theresa May’s crown on Tuesday. Former Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom and relative unknowns, Mark Harper and Rory Stewart stated their claims to become the next Tory leader and de facto prime minister.Also on rt.com Former TV colleague Lorraine Kelly throws ‘major shade’ at Tory leader hopeful McVey live on air
Leadsom pitched her credentials for the top job in front of invited guests and media in the morning, but it will no doubt be her address to the press at lunch which will be remembered most.
She cheekily reignited her long running feud with Speaker of the House John Bercow by holding aloft a “Bollocks to Bercow” sign to the amusement of journalists.
Leadsom, ostensibly enjoying not having to adhere to ‘collective responsibility’ anymore, after quitting the Cabinet over Brexit, also took a swipe at her old boss. She claimed that May’s driverless cars regulation “would have been useful over the past 3 years.”
Andrea Leadsom takes a dig at May - says her driverless cars regulation 'would have been useful over the past 3 years'— Anna Mikhailova (@AVMikhailova) June 11, 2019
Harper, who has assumed a series of junior ministerial roles within government, is a big outsider for the top job. With this in mind perhaps, he decided to take a ‘think outside the box’ approach to his campaign launch.
He issued a press release saying his speech wasn’t “going to be that scripted” and challenged journalists to “ask him anything.”
It so turns out that his script was, well, pretty scripted, as Matt Chorley, a columnist for the Times highlighted on Twitter and journalists took the idea of having free reign on questions to the extreme.
The Mirror's Oliver Milne focused on the contentious subject of animals fighting each other to the death, asking Harper “Who would win in a fight, a lion or a bear?” Harper quickly fired back “Lion or a bear? Okay on the basis that the lion is the symbol of Britain, I'm going to say lion. That's my final answer.”
Milne’s colleague at the Mirror, Pippa Crerar revealed the array of outlandish questions fellow journalists were coming up with before Harper’s campaign launch event.
PRESS RELEASE: In remarks at the beginning of this morning’s event, Mark Harper is expected to say:— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) June 11, 2019
“Now this isn’t going to be that scripted”
(Followed by 800 words of, er, script) pic.twitter.com/bEpR7D7oEC
Journalist colleagues discussing Tory leadership candidate Mark Harper’s campaign launch Q&A pic.twitter.com/EEIz3kHGvc— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) June 11, 2019
This now leaves Home Secretary Sajid Javid and former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the clear favourite to replace May, to officially launch their respective campaigns. A new UK prime minister is set to take office on July 22.
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