Theresa May was once again forced to step in as the ongoing Tory civil war erupted after Phil Hammond wished Downing Street staff a good morning.
Although most initially agreed it was indeed a nice crisp winter’s morn, several backbenchers and senior party members later held press briefings to indicate the first half of the day was in fact ‘utterly wank’ and that Phil Hammond should just ‘shut up the hell up’.
Boris Johnson also stoked the fires of rebellion by retweeting an old Newsnight segment where Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed mornings had never been good historically and it was “absurd tomfoolery to wish it was so, especially in front of underlings.”
By lunchtime, in a move widely seen as an attempt to stave off a coup, May had issued a press statement to the effect that the morning was acceptable but that in retrospect she would have rather stayed in bed.
Simon Williams, Number 10 spokesperson, explained that jovial but inaccurate greetings had no place in Mrs May’s government.
He went on, “We have never espoused the view that it was a good morning. This government will not be swayed in its desire to find the best possible early day salutation for the British people.
“But we will not be swayed by arguments that anodyne pleasantries help us maintain civilities.”
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn refused to qualify the morning. Instead, he talked at length about the lessons British business could learn from the way grape-pickers on Argentinian cooperative vineyards begin the day by taking a collective decision on production targets.