Rishi Sunak’s failure to offer timely support to scandal-hit Boris Johnson this week had nothing to do with political machinations, a cabinet secretary assured voters.
It had everything to do with an annoying lack of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.
Nadine Dorries seemed to decide on Thursday night that credulity was overrated when she explained the reason the Chancellor failed to back the Prime Minister for almost 24 hours after new Party Gate revelations broke was simply because he was at a visit to Ilfracombe in Devon had no signal.
“The Chancellor was on a long-planned visit to Devon on the coast where, as we all know, the signals and the wifi – the wifi and the broadband – is something the MP for that area who he was with Selaine Saxby , is constantly campaigning for this,” said the Minister for Culture. “We know there isn’t a good signal down there.”
But while the region has indeed long been calling for better services, the suggestion that the actual Chancellor of the Exchequer was actually stuck in a communications blackout during his visit to a city of 11,000 was certainly not taken seriously.
“I’m writing this on parchment,” one Southwest Twitter user posted. “I hope you’ll get my response to your tweet before the end of the year.”
As a matter of fact, LatestPageNews can now exclusively confirm that Peel Illfracombe – the advanced manufacturing facility Mr Sunak visited – is indeed blessed with working cellphone signal, wifi and broadband. For the avoidance of doubt there is also electricity and running water.
“Yes, we have working phone lines,” a confused receptionist said over the, uh, phone. “Yes, we have broadband.”
Even the area Tory councilor seemed a little surprised by Dorries’ proposal.
At 9 a.m. Friday morning, Paul Crabb’s cell phone was ringing as clear as a bell. “It may depend on what network you’re on and where in the city you’re located,” he said. “I suppose there’s a remote chance he didn’t have a signal.”
What? All day? A break. “I can’t speak for it [Nadine]’ the city council decided.
However, since we had him, what have he and other Ilfracombe Conservatives made of the torrent of revelations about illegal parties being held at Downing Street during various coronavirus lockdowns?
“These are all self-inflicted wounds,” he said. “They are disappointing and unnecessary.”
He happened to meet Mr. Sunak during his visit. His verdict? “Very impressive,” he said. “I like him very much.”