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Remembering Nick Booth: A stunt too far for the Prime Minister impersonator


Continuing our series of articles by the much-loved TCW writer Nick Booth, who died in September. It was first published on October 21, 2022. You can read Kathy’s introduction here.

SERIAL prankster Liz Truss is facing a lifelong ban from the Big Pharma Stadium (formerly the Cradle of Democracy) after her latest stunt, when she invaded the House of Commons dressed as a Prime Minister. Now even her greatest fans have said she went too far.

After borrowing a Margaret Thatcher replica kit, Truss hid it underneath a baggy jumper and corduroy tent dress. She slipped past a police cordon when an officer mistook her for a Just Stop Oil protester and waved her in. After gaining entry to the political arena, she adopted the guise of a Liberal Democrat fan and hid in a left field.

Her moment came after a speech by Sir Ed Davey had lulled the crowd into a soporific state. The attention-seeker, who isn’t known to be loyal to any party or driven by any political principles, rapidly ditched her disguise. After nipping through an unmanned boundary she found herself on the House of Commons pitch, heading for the front bench, looking for all the world as if she was ready to face six balls from the Leader of the Opposition.

Unexpectedly finding herself at the crease, she panicked and hid under a desk. But fate was to play its cruellest trick and she was spotted by a steward, Penny Mordaunt, who then indulged the self-proclaimed ‘pranker’ and persuaded Truss to stay at the wicket and face a few tame balls from the Far End delivered by Sir Keir Starmer. Luckily, ‘Starmer the Underarmer’ is not known for his pace or his spin. His close fielders included Angela Eagle, who is known as ‘the lesser of two Eagles’. So Truss lived to spoil another day.

Truss’s pranks have built her a reputation. Once, in a mock ceremony, Truss appointed her pal known as ‘Krazy Kwarteng’ as Chancellor of the Exchequer. She later claimed it had all been a bad dream, and rapidly reversed her decision.

Now even her fans in the Conservative Party have had enough. ‘If you want to wave your arms around and make vacuous gestures, you should go through the proper channels,’ said one former enthusiast. ‘There’s the BBC, ITV . . . the Sky is the limit.’

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Nick Booth
Nick Booth
Nick Booth is a freelance writer.

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