Michael Gove issued a dig at his nemesis Boris Johnson saying that the challenge posed by the former PM’s moptop justified him dishing out an OBE to his hairdresser.
The long-time political rival of the now ex-MP, and former PM, joked at the Kite Festival in Oxford on Saturday that the person responsible for taming Mr Johnson’s famously unruly blonde locks deserved her OBE.
A tweet by Cat Neilan, the political editor of the Tortoise, recounted how Mr Gove, 55, told an audience and panel that hairdresser Kelly Dodge deserved her OBE for “services to Boris’ hairline” before adding “she’s been responsible for more cuts than any minister”.
Kelly Jo Dodge, a long-time Parliamentary hairdresser, was given a nod in the list of gongs which are traditionally handed out by a Prime Minister when they leave office. Current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces a third by-election test after a close ally of Mr Johnson resigned from the Commons with “immediate effect”.
Mr Johnson sensationally quit Westminster on Friday as he launched a fierce attack on the Commons Privileges Committee investigation into whether he misled MPs with his assurances over parties held in Downing Street during coronavirus lockdowns.
In a tumultuous 24 hours for the Conservative Party, Nigel Adams MP announced on Saturday that he was following the former prime minister and former culture secretary Nadine Dorries’ lead in quitting Westminster.
In a tweet, Mr Adams said: “Yesterday, Selby Conservatives selected an excellent new parliamentary candidate. I’ve today informed the chief whip that I will be standing down as a Member of Parliament with immediate effect.
“It has been an honour to represent the area where I was raised (and) educated.”
Mr Adams and Ms Dorries had been tipped for peerages in Mr Johnson’s resignation honours but neither featured in Friday’s published list.
There has been speculation that Downing Street wanted their names removed to avoid by-election contests, although No 10 said Mr Sunak had no involvement in producing the final list. The Prime Minister has yet to comment on Mr Johnson’s departure.
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While the Tories enjoy a comfortable 20,000 majority in Selby and Ainsty, Mr Adams’ decision to exit immediately rather than wait until the next election means the Tories will face contests on three fronts.
After quitting as an MP Mr Johnson issued a 1,000-word statement in which he said the seven-person panel, which is chaired by veteran Labour MP Harriet Harman but has a Conservative majority, was on a “witch hunt” and compared it with a “kangaroo court”.
Mr Johnson said he was “bewildered and appalled” at being “forced out, anti-democratically” by a probe that he claimed had set out from the beginning to “find me guilty, regardless of the facts”.
He denied lying to MPs and said he “corrected the record as soon as possible” after receiving information about lockdown gatherings in No 10.
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The former Tory leader’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat, where he had a 7,000 majority, was in Labour’s top 100 targets at the next election even before Mr Johnson’s resignation.
Labour wasted no time in targeting the seat, with the party’s campaign co-ordinator Shabana Mahmood and a host of other MPs joining activists and candidate Danny Beales in Uxbridge on Saturday.
The Liberal Democrats have briefed that they could potentially pull off an upset in Ms Dorries’ former Mid Bedfordshire constituency.
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