Tory MPs Tweet The Same 'The PM Means Business' Party Line – But No-One Is Fooled

Definitely not "Meltdown In Downing Street", apparently.
House of Commons via PA Wire/PA Images

Tory MPs have dutifully fallen into line following a night of high political drama – but the latest iteration of Operation Save Big Dog was arguably the least subtle.

On Thursday, Boris Johnson – aka Big Dog – was rocked by the resignations after four senior aides on the same day as the fall-out from partygate continued.

The exit of No 10 chief of staff Dan Rosenfield and Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, followed director of communications Jack Doyle in resigning, along with Munira Mirza, who is one of the PM’s most loyal and longstanding advisers. She walked out over the “scurrilous” Jimmy Savile smear against Labour Keir Starmer.

But rather than being portrayed as a disaster for the Conservatives – the Daily Mail front page screamed ‘Meltdown In Downing Street’ – the party’s whipping operation wanted to give it a different spin.

HuffPost UK’s political editor, Kevin Schofield, reported a leak from the Conservative MPs’ WhatsApp group, which included instructions on what the party line should be.

A message in the group read: “See Stewart’s tweet acknowledging the change promised on Monday is now underway. Please do retweet – or better still craft your own short tweet. Let’s show everyone that the PM means business.”

“Stewart’s tweet” referred to the comment from Stuart Anderson, the Tory MP for Wolverhampton South West since 2019. He wrote: “On Monday Boris Johnson promised MPs change. Tonight we see that change starting to happen and I welcome this quick action by the Prime Minster.”

Commentators were unimpressed.

Whether or not they were inspired by “Stewart’s tweet”, Tory MPs quickly adopted a form of words likely to please party enforcers given their remarkable similarity.

Spot the difference between Michael Fabricant’s “The PM promised changes to the No10 operation at the 1922 on Monday, and it’s good to see action is now swiftly being taken” and Joy Morrissey’s “The PM promised changes to the No10 operation earlier this week, glad to see him delivering tonight.”

But not every Conservative was on the same page.

And, inevitably, the Tory party became an object of ridicule.


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