Theresa May has reminded the new deputy chairman of the Conservative Party he has still not had the kiss he wanted from her.
Appearing during prime minister’s question time on Wednesday, May was asked by James Cleverly to press ahead with her domestic agenda.
“In December, when the Brexit secretary met [EU negotiator] Michel Barnier they hugged. In that spirit, would the prime minister passionately embrace, not me don’t worry, would she passionately embrace the agenda she set out last year to build a Britain fit for the future?”
May replied to laughter in the Commons: “I have to say to my hon. friend, he talks about passionate embraces, I don’t think he’s had the kiss that he once asked for.”
The flirtatious joke between the two has been running for years. Cleverly, the MP for Braintree, chose to “snog” May in a quiz of “snog, marry, avoid” on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics back in 2015.
During a drinks reception at the Tory party conference in 2016, May used a speech to highlight his choice. Pointing across the room at Cleverly, May said: “I still haven’t had that kiss.”
Before his promotion to deputy Tory chairman this week, Cleverly criticised May’s election campaign as “lazy”, “hopeless” and “bitter”.