PMQs: Jeremy’s Book Club

Jeremy was in a bad mood. He hadn’t had enough sleep, and Seumas had forced him to spend all morning reading something about Derby Council. Worst of all, it was Theresa’s turn to choose the book this week. She had probably picked some boring self-help book about leadership. He really just wanted to read through the latest copy of Allotment Gardeners Monthly and yet he was forced to turn up and pretend to be interested in other people’s books every week.

To be honest no-one else seemed particularly excited to be there either. Maybe it was time to freshen up the whole book club. If people weren’t interested in the nuances of vegetable growing, that was their problem. At least no-one seemed particularly excited by what tedious Theresa had chosen either. “So what have you brought this week Theresa?” he asked sarcastically. “Well, I found this great little story about a magician – called Jeremy actually – who can conjure up huge amounts of gold from thin air. The only problem is, he can’t count…”

“Very funny,” interrupted Jeremy. “We all know that’s John’s latest book and that’s non-fiction. We’re meant to be discussing novels this week. So have you got any serious suggestions?” Theresa had brought another one – some caper about a duo who were trying to take over the country but needed to come up with a trillion pounds to do it. Wait, thought Jeremy, that sounds like an excerpt from my diary. How had she got hold of that? “Look, if you’re not going to take this seriously, I’ve got plenty of suggestions. How about this one about a load of police officers who have to investigate a marrow theft, but they can’t because the nasty woman who runs the village has cut down their turnip ration? Or what about this hospital drama? Or this one about…”

Everyone groaned. Jeremy was always bringing the same books along every week and insisted on bringing so many that no-one could ever keep track of them. Eventually he gave up and went back to thinking about his yams. Theresa could deal with the problem of choosing the book. Jacob suggested a Belgian thriller packed with intrigue and betrayal, but Theresa wasn’t in the mood for that. Gordon suggested a story about dogs. Everyone looked around blankly. People just weren’t taking the book club seriously any more. No-one seemed to have brought along anything interesting to look at, and fewer and fewer people were turning up each week. Susan made a mean joke that Theresa might not even still be in the book club next time. If only, thought Jeremy. Then there’ll be no-one to stop me from choosing a book about vegetables every week…


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Andrea Leadsom told BBC Radio 4’s Today

“He’s made his views on Brexit on the record, and the problem with that of course is that the chair’s impartiality is absolutely essential. … He’s made his views known on Brexit… it’s a matter for him but nevertheless it’s a challenge and all colleagues need to form their own view of that.”

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