Barring any unforeseen events, David Cameron, the country’s third most prominent Conservative Party member, will next week welcome back to the Commons David Davis, the country’s second most prominent Conservative Party member.
Should be quite a spectacle, considering the amount of gritted teeth there will be on both sides of the rather awkward photo opportunity. Those of us who are old enough will recall a similar event in the Tory Party, when John Major, who had been party leader and prime minister for less than a year, was worried about the warmth of the reception delegates to annual conference might give his recently-deposed predecessor when she arrived on the platform. The solution was for JM to accompany MT as she made her entrance. The thunderous applause and the standing ovation, although obviously in response to The Blessed Margaret’s appearance, could then be spun to the media, however implausibly, as a sign of love for the current PM rather than the former one.
Expect a similarly cunning stunt from Dave as he seeks to bask in the reflected glory of his erstwhile (and future?) rival. “Dave congratulates Davis on stunning victory”, the Tory press releases will proclaim, as both men embrace/shake hands at St Stephen’s entrance. A few seconds later, Dave will head back to his office, muttering something impolite and inaudible, and DD will head to the whips’ office to ask if they’ve sorted out a new office for him. I hope he likes Portakabins.