Never mind Boris, is Liz about to stage a comeback?
Former Prime Minister Liz Truss hosted a small Christmas party with drinks for her pals at her Parliament office on Thursday night amid speculation over what she will do next.
There are rumors that Truss may form a political commission to come up with tax cut and regulation ideas to keep the pressure on Rishi Sunak. A source tells me: “She is considering a number of options and plans. You will hear more from them in due course.”
It is clear that Truss is gathering supporters for a relaunch of Trussonomics in the new year. A friend tells me: “She thinks she was right. She lost the battle but not the war.”
Is there room on the number 10 stairs?
No sign of an official portrait of Boris Johnson or Liz Truss on the Downing Street steps yet. Such is the fluctuation in PMs since September that both Johnson and Truss are absent from the wall, which currently features Theresa May in pole position.
Part of the problem is that in order to add a new portrait, every Prime Minister since Sir Robert Walpole has to be moved down one space so that the youngest ex-Downing Street resident is at the top of the stairs.
#10 insists it be on the facility team’s “to do list.” But Rishi Sunak has now been in office for over a month. Is No. 10 Trying To Eliminate Johnson And Truss From History?
Not-U, old boy
A warning in the toilets at the Athenaeum Club in Pall Mall. “Dear member/guest, please do not flush any products other than toilet paper down the toilet,” reads a sign.
“The Club is the custodian of many rare and expensive works of literature that are damaged by water when foreign objects wash away and then block the lines.”
Members have apparently wondered why the club’s management doesn’t simply move their rare and expensive works of literature away from leaky pipes. I’m more worried about why the Athenaeum refers to toilets as toilets.
The missed opportunity of Brexit
Finally the real reason the Festival of Brexit – the government-backed £120million unboxed arts festival – has been such a silly bang: it snubbed the Museum of Brexit.
The museum’s chairman, Lee Rotherham, contacted the director of Unboxed, but his “introduction and presentation about the museum were completely ignored,” an insider told me.
The source laments that Unboxed instead “spent tens of millions on things no one wanted, no one remembers, and had nothing to do with taking back control of our sovereignty.” An Unbox spokesman told me the festival was “not a celebration of Brexit, so there doesn’t appear to be any connection or synergy with the stated purpose of the museum”.
Rotherham is forgiving. “It’s a missed opportunity. We could have done something interesting together.”
Gongs for the girls
Good news from football where I am reliably informed that all members of the England Women’s EURO squad will be receiving MBEs and OBEs at the King’s First New Year’s Awards later this month. A special award was also provided for her Dutch coach, Sarina Wiegman. Who cares about the World Cup in Qatar?
When Cliff sang for the princes
Sir Cliff Richard saw the future when he and DJ Mike Read found themselves staying at the same ski hotel in Austria in the 1990s with Princess Diana and her sons William and Harry.
The pair were singing in the bar when Diana walked in and asked if she could bring her boys. A traffic jam began.
Sir Cliff told Boom Radio this week: “We sang Summer Holiday and all that. And then I saw Harry give this big yawn.
We stopped and I said, ‘Would you like to hear something?’
“He said, ‘Do you know Great Balls Of Fire?’ I said, ‘Yes, but how do you know?’ He said, ‘Mom plays it all the time!’ So Mike and I are like, “You make my nerves shake and you make my brain shake…”
“William just sit back and relax. Harry stands up and impersonates Michael Jackson. It was amazing. I thought ‘William knows he’s going to be king and Harry knows he’s not’. ”
Published every Friday at 7pm, Peterborough is edited by Christopher Hope, the Telegraph’s chief political correspondent and author of the daily newsletter Chopper’s Politics. You can reach him at [email protected]