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Quite a few Tory MPs were guffawing at Boris Johnson's expense again yesterday. Labour MP Peter Dowd (Bootle) had come up with a corker for the first question at PMQs. He wondered if Theresa May had made a mistake. When she pencilled in 'F.O.' against Boris's name for her Cabinet, did she intend the letters to form 'an instruction and not a job offer'?
This won a long peal of laughter from the House, not least from the 'naughty corner' of the Tory benches where big-voiced Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell) was sitting. The expansively waistcoated Mr Shelbrooke, we may deduce, is not as keen on Boris as he is on sausage rolls and second helpings of jam roly-poly.
Sarah - Wollaston - Con - Totnes - Mr
Sarah Wollaston (Con, Totnes) also found Mr Dowd's joke greatly to her liking. Dr Wollaston is that amateur tandem cyclist who switched from Leave to Remain during the EU referendum campaign.
She can often come across as a little arid – as dry as an Esquimau's armpit – so it was interesting to see her laugh so merrily.
Dowd - Wisecrack - Missus - Release - Buckets
The Dowd wisecrack really did tickle her, missus. The release of buckets of resentment?
Boris was not in the Chamber for the joke, alas. Recently it has been put around – presumably by Foreign Office spin doctors (Boris not having been allowed by No 10 to employ the long-serving press officer he wanted) – that the Foreign Secretary is NOT TO BE LAUGHED AT. Absurd.
Artistes - Age - People - Pamela - Anderson
He is one of the great slapstick artistes of our age. You might as well ask people not to stare at Pamela Anderson's shopfront. I bet Boris wouldn't have minded the Dowd joke. On Wednesday night he was making a joke of his own – about Theresa May's 'lederhosen'.
And we all know how good Theresa is at swallowing jokes made at her own expense.
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