Theresa May has surprised MPs by appearing at her first PMQs as premier in a Margaret Thatcher mask from popular and long-defunct satirical puppet show Spitting Image.
Whilst bobbing around in the 80’s get-up, the new PM referred to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as a “vegetable”, dubbed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a “complete imbecile”, and topped it all off by snogging a man in a Ronald Reagan mask.
A member of Mrs May’s inner circle said afterwards: “It helps her come out of her shell a bit if she pretends to be someone else.”
It was an unusually theatrical performance from the new Prime Minister, who does not normally flail around like a puppet, wear a puppet’s face or try to outlandishly impersonate a puppet’s impersonation of a dead woman.
She was asked by the Leader of the Opposition to defend her appointment of Boris Johnson to the Foreign Office, despite the fact that the only country he hasn’t insulted at some point is Hurdy-Gurdyland, because I just made it up.
Mrs May responded: “Yes. I will have the steak. Oh, raw, please.”
“And what about the vegetables?” she added, pointing to Johnson and to the rest of the Cabinet on the frontbench. “Oh, they’ll have the same as me.”
A rebellious Labour backbencher later rose to tell the House that while he respected Mr Corbyn’s principled anti-Trident stance, the beleaguered leader was a snivelling pacifist who would have let Hitler walk all over him like an invincible armoured tarantula.
He asked Mrs May when the next full-blown assault against ISIS would be getting underway, adding that he was “champing at the fucking bit”.
The Prime Minister said bobbing-aroundly: “We can’t have a quick war just to win votes!”
She then added after a perfectly-timed comic beat: “Though now that you mention it, look into it, will you?”
The SNP’s Angus Robertson got to his feet to demand that Scotland get to Remain in the EU, because Remain means Remain means Remain means Remain means
Mrs May insisted instead that: “Leave means Leave means Leave means Brexit means Brexit means Brexit but hopefully with a bit of Remain means Brexit.”
Robertson responded damningly, telling the PM: “Despite the wishes of Scots, it turns out after all that Remain means Remain means Remain means Leave. What does that mean?”
Mrs May burst out into theatrical bobbing-around puppet laughter, and was mimicked by her backbenchers, who flailed their arms around and danced clumsily on the spot.
A bemused Jeremy Corbyn was left wondering what year it was even more than usual.