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Theresa May Made The Man In Charge Of Brexit Carry Her Handbag

When the prime minister has had enough of carrying her bag, you damn well take it.

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Theresa May was heading for the group photo of EU leaders at Friday's summit in Malta when she decided she'd had enough of her handbag, so immediately handed it over to an aide.

Fair play to Theresa May getting that very large bloke to carry her handbag.

That large "bloke" is, on closer inspection, Olly Robbins, the senior civil servant tasked with delivering Brexit on behalf of the British government. As well as carrying the prime minister's handbag.

@jimwaterson that's Olly Robbins as far as I can tell on small screen. Her "sherpa". Multitasking.

Robbins is responsible for running the Department for Exiting the EU. He helps prepare the prime minister for key summits and travels in her entourage.

Parliament TV / Civil Service World / Via

But no matter how senior you are, when the prime minister asks you to carry a handbag, you carry the damn handbag.

European Council

A lot of people understood the situation.

Every married man has had to do that "I'm very comfortable with this handbag" thing in a supermarket

"Here you are bab, have that for a second would you."

Although there was some cruel and unfounded speculation.

@jimwaterson @hoskas obvious drugs deal

But ultimately no matter how slick and senior they are, at some point every civil servant will eventually find themselves back as a bag carrier.

European Council


Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at

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