David Cameron headed from his first Cabinet meeting as Foreign Secretary in 10 Downing Street to lunch at the Carlton Club – the Mayfair spiritual home of the Conservative Party – where I bumped into him in the hall, near a prominent portrait of him.
The newly ennobled Lord Cameron had posed for Fleet Street photographers as he left his first Cabinet since his appointment that morning. “It was very funny – someone shouted to me ‘do you miss being shouted at in Downing Street?’,” he told me, with a grin.
With that, Cameron bounded upstairs, to the first floor, where an over-sized bust of his head sits on the landing, and straight into a packed dining room for a new Thatcher portrait unveiling, to a loud cheer from members.
His next step: being clothed in ermine on Monday when he is introduced to the Lords. DC is back!
Voters might have shrugged their shoulders at the re-emergence of David Cameron at the top of British politics, but impressionist Rory Bremner is thrilled: “On behalf of the nation’s impressionists, delighted to see David Cameron back. We just need Michael Howard, John Major and Frank Spencer and we’re cooking on gas.”
Nigel’s in the dark
One politician who apparently has no idea that David Cameron is back helping to run the country is his old Ukip nemesis Nigel Farage, one of the stars of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! which starts Sunday night on ITV. Farage’s pals tell me his mobile phone was taken from him the day before Cameron was appointed Foreign Secretary.
Former winner of the series panto dame Christopher Biggins told GB News this week: “He’ll come over very well. [But] I don’t think he’ll win and will be voted in to do all the terrible things that they want him to do.” Another kangaroo’s testicle, Nigel?
Starmer’s no charmer
Mild-mannered Tory MP Simon Jupp is not happy. “On several occasions, I have held the door open on the Parliamentary estate for Sir Keir Starmer and did so moments ago, as I try to do for everyone,” he said this week.
“Most people signal their thanks, but never Sir Keir. I just get a glare, stare, or blank expression. Good manners cost nothing.” Jupp says this has happened four times and is “not expecting an apology”. Perhaps Starmer’s “blank expression” is him being friendly?
Penny’s light sabre
Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt emerged unscathed from Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle. Perhaps the PM was put off sacking his old leadership rival by the memory of Mordaunt brandishing the Sword of State at last year’s Coronation as Lord President of the Privy Council? Mordaunt (pictured, with wooden sword) has been busy since, signing replicas to raise cash for local Tory associations and charities.
One friend tells me: “She has been inundated by requests to sign ‘swords’ including, in a couple of cases, light sabres.”
The force is with you, Penny.
Good news for Adam Dant, the official general election artist in 2015. He has just been painting an expansive historic fresco in the loos of the Merchant Taylor’s livery company in the City of London and has been now signed up as artistic adviser to the Royal Mint.
Despite being surrounded by all that cash, Dant’s time will not be paid. “Art should be in everyone’s pocket,” he tells me from his humble artist’s garret.
Dant will have a say over what subjects appear on the UK’s circulating and commemorative currency though. “It’s the most fun committee of them all too, every penny of it,” he tells me.
Going, going Godiva
Catholic Herald editor William Cash has some sad news about his Jaguar, nicknamed the “Purple Godiva”, which he decorated in Ukip livery when he was standing to be an MP in 2015. “My wife wants me to sell it,” he tells me, forlornly.
Cash, son of Brexiteer Sir Bill Cash, bought the car – a 1992 Sovereign – from a dealer in Blackpool for £2,000 and once told me that its “long wheel base is good to go for Anglesey for the weekend”. Surely someone can take it off his hands?
Fly the Commonwealth flag!
When Tory MP Andrew Rosindell asked in the Commons if the Foreign Office will fly the Commonwealth flag “all year round”, the response was icy. “It is not our practice to fly, on a permanent basis, the flags of organisations of which the UK is a member,” Foreign Office minister David Rutley replied.
Given the name of the building is the “Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office”, isn’t this rather churlish?
Peterborough, published every Friday at 7pm, is edited by Christopher Hope. You can reach him at email@example.com