Here's The Latest In The Absolute Clown Show That Is The Tory Leadership Contest
A story about how anyone can run for prime minister and come relatively close if they put their mind to it.
Greetings to the rest of the world from the UK: Here is the latest in the slow, almost inevitable process by which our ruling party decides this man should lead our country, even though half of them don't agree with him on his strategy, and the rest have no faith in his ability to implement it.
First, the fallen. It is our solemn duty to announce that we have lost Esther McVey in the leadership race.
It is also our duty to commit to history the tribulations she faced during her brief but captivating campaign.
By which we mean: the Great Lorraine Kelly Fiasco.
It all started three days ago with this incredibly awkward exchange in which breakfast-TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, alongside whom it is a matter of public record that McVey once worked, apparently pretended to have little idea of who she was.
The nation was gripped. What on earth could be the backstory? Within hours, McVey returned fire.
We thought that would be the end of it. It was not. In fact, things really ramped up: Kelly pointed out she'd had her own show since 1992, and went on to take a pop at McVey over LGBT rights.
Day three of the only political crisis that really mattered this week, and former GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips waded in. Suddenly McVey wasn't just at war with Kelly, and she returned fire: Sources close to McVey claimed she was at war with a left-wing "cabal" within GMTV, all apparently working to undermine her. This actually happened.
Could this have been what brought her down? Perhaps not. We also need to talk about foreign aid. McVey claimed foreign aid had been misspent, citing an airport on "one of the continents". Now, there was a lot wrong with this. So much, in fact, it's hard to know where to start.
And then there was her claim it was built the wrong way round. Well, as the debunking website Full Fact has pointed out — this isn't entirely clear.
Reader, it's a British Overseas Territory: While McVey was technically correct in calling it foreign aid, the UK has a legal obligation to provide the cash. What is also clear is that flights have been runningthere just fine since 2017. In summary, McVey's claim was so incredibly, wildly inaccurate that even the Tory minister responsible was forced to take to Twitter to describe it as "total rubbish".
So that all went well.
And on top of everything, it also came out that she spent nearly £9,000 on a personal photographer, which was a pretty wild revelation, given that her campaign focused on championing "working people".