Former Melton MP savages PM and government colleagues in new book

A new book by former Melton MP, Sir Alan Duncan, contains a series of savage attacks on the characters of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his predecessor Theresa May.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 1:21 pm
Melton MP Sir Alan Duncan (right) pictured with Boris Johnson before he became Prime Minister EMN-210604-131011001

Sir Alan gave an indication that he was disillusioned with modern politics when he decribed it as ‘a very nasty and undignified business’ in an interview with the Melton Times following his final speech in the House of Commons in October 2019.

But the personal and critical barbs directed at high profile former Conservative colleagues in his diaries have sent shock waves through Westminster after being serialised in the Daily Mail this week.

The man who was MP for Rutland and Melton for 27 years from 1992 labels PM, Mr Johnson, ‘a clown’ and ‘an embarrassing buffoon’ while Mrs May is dismissed as ‘a single flaking old pit prop’ after an appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions at a time when support for the government was beginning to dwindle in the face of the divisive debates surrounding Brexit.

Sir Alan Duncan on a flight to Brussels with former Prime Minister Theresa May during his term as an MP EMN-210604-130958001

In The Thick Of It: The Explosive Private Political Diaries Of A Former Tory Minister, is due to be published by William Collins on April 15, priced £25.

The entries revealed so far in the Mail have mainly centred around Sir Alan’s dealings with government business, rather than more consituency-based matters in the Melton borough and Rutland.

There are plenty of humorous entries and some more mundane anecdotes such as his shared love of cult television crime drama, Hawaii Five-O, with his civil partner, James Dunseath.

The diaries cover his last four years as an MP and detail the deep divisions caused in the Tory party following the vote to leave the European Union.

His entries plot the demise of Mrs May as she struggles to broker a Brexit deal which will placate both her government and Parliament as a whole.

Mrs May ‘has looked wooden and defensive, like a frightened rabbit, declining interviews and TV debates. We have engaged in the politics of personality — without any personality’, writes Sir Alan, who is 64.

He was particularly scathing of Mr Johnson in a September 2016 entry, when the PM-to-be was Foreign Secretary, and Sir Alan served under him at the Foreign Office.

“He (Boris Johnson) is an international stain on our reputation. He is a lonely, selfish, ill-disciplined, shambolic, shameless clot,” wrote Sir Alan.

There are many other critical comments decscribing current members of the government and former Speaker of the House, John Bercow, who he shared his final moments in the House with.

Sir Alan, who was succeeded as Melton MP by Alicia Kearns in December 2019, was asked by the Melton Times whether he would stand for office now, if he was starting out again.

His response following his final speech in the House back in 2019 revealed his disenchantment with politicians and how politics is now being conducted in this country.

“That is very difficult to know,” he responded.

“If I did, it would be with far less enthusiasm than when I first became an MP in 1992.

“Politics in this country has become a mucky, messy, dysfunctional process and so much is wrong with it now.”