World Update

Sajid Javids farcical exit from an EU meeting was like something from The Thick of It

Home Secretary,Sajid Javid, trying to avoid journalists after a meeting with the EUs chief Brexit representative, Guy Verhofstadt, was such a farce it could have been the plot of an episode of political comedy The Thick of It.

Reporter Nick Gutteridge told the story.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid runs away from press pack waiting to talk to him about his meeting with Guy Verhofstadt over settled status at EU Parliament today. Will only say it was constructive and blanks all questions as hes bundled into a lift by team of about 10 officials.

— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) May 16, 2018

The officials had previously tried to sneak him out a different door so that he could get to the lifts without us noticing. Never understand why politicians do this – how difficult is it to answer a few simple questions about a meeting? Its not a good look.

— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) May 16, 2018

1/ This was, on reflection, a truly farcical escape attempt. Firstly, Javid's officials seemed stunned to see journalists. In the EU Parliament. They genuinely thought the Home Secretary could come to Brussels and we wouldn't find out about it, which is astonishing naivety. https://t.co/5ADDGlCINQ

— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) May 16, 2018

2/ Then they hatched an ingenious plan. MEPs offices have 2 rooms – 1 for them and 1 for their assistant. Theyd move us along the corridor and sneak Javid out of the assistants door. But they moved us the wrong way so we were standing right outside that door when he left.

— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) May 16, 2018

3/ There was only one thing for it – a mad dash for the lift. But when they got there too many of them got in and the doors wouldnt close. The doors kept reopening, allowing us to shout questions at the Home Sec who was cowering at the back. This happened at least 3 times.

— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) May 16, 2018

4/ In a panic, his assistants mashed the buttons. But in their haste they pressed the wrong one, and instead of going down to the exit they went up to another floor with more offices on. They then had to come back down past us to get out as this was the only lift available.

— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) May 16, 2018

5/ Eventually, the Home Secretary was free and off into the warm Brussels air having learnt a cursory lesson about the importance of having a solid exit plan. This is the ultimate moral of #liftgate. The End.

— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) May 16, 2018

Stand-up comedian, Tiernan Douieb, spotted the unintentional comedy potential.

This is a joyous read. The unofficial 3rd series of The Thick Of It. ??? https://t.co/dqhjvIh4vl

— Tiernan Douieb (@TiernanDouieb) May 16, 2018

But Twitter user @barbapple summarised the episode perfectly.

“This whole episode is a metaphor for Brexit-if youre planning to leave, have a plan-that works-first time-lying, hiding, denying, all not recommended.”

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The Poke
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