The 'Donkey Jacket' Remembered

For many younger people Michael Foot is most famously remembered only for turning up to a remembrance service at the Cenotaph wearing a ‘donkey jacket’.

It was the Press Association’s legendary Chris Moncrieff who broke the story after receiving a phone call that day after the pubs had closed.  Walter Johnson, a Labour MP with little love for Foot, had called Moncrieff to complain “I was watching this morning and was disgusted to see that the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition looked more like an Irish navvy than a party leader.”

Moncrieff put the story with quotes out on the PA wire.  A couple of hours later, perhaps after having had a nap, Walter Johnson called again asking “Have I said anything today?”

Moncrieff had to explain to him that it was too late to do anything about it as the story had gone around the world…




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