Just over an hour ago, Theresa May fled the Commons Chamber as Jeremy Corbyn finished an announcement that Labour would be tabling a motion of no confidence that May thought she had avoided. The video footage of her flight has already gone viral.
Naturally, May’s supporters and defenders are therefore attempting to dismiss the idea that she fled, insisting that she simply ‘left’, as if this was some kind of planned or normal exit.
But the Commons video cameras captured a candid reaction from another Tory minister who had been sitting beside Mrs May on the front bench before her flight – and it makes plain that May’s departure was no planned or intended event.
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, is caught swaying and turning as she reacts to May’s sudden move – and can be heard shouting ‘shame’ at the Labour leader, as if he had done anything untoward:
Corbyn had simply outmanoeuvred the hapless PM yet again – but Ms James’ reaction strongly suggests that May’s consternation and even panic was not only visible but considerable.
May had believed that her attempt to ‘kick the can down the road’ by almost a month had succeeded. When Corbyn made his announcement, her confusion appears to have been so great she could only think of escape – only just remembering to nod to Speaker John Bercow on her way out.
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