With Wembley Stadium presumably not available, Gina Miller summoned the world’s media to Westminster early yesterday morning for the launch of her new political party.
Mrs Miller is the fabulously wealthy City investor and anti-Brexit litigant whose 2016 court case forced Theresa May to run her EU withdrawal agreement past Parliament first.
As launches go it was not exactly Cape Canaveral, with pluming rocket boosters and cries of ‘3-2-1 lift off!’ By my count, about a dozen people turned up to a painfully empty room beneath the shadows of Westminster Abbey: Five journalists, a smattering of clipboard martinets and several unidentified loiterers possibly lured by the complimentary croissants on offer. Oh, and Gina’s blameless hubby Alan who sat dutifully in the front row gulping at flies. Clearly, Miller-mania is yet to take hold among the political establishment.
An estimated five people showed up to the launch of Gina Miller’s True & Fair launch yesterday
Eventually, Mrs Miller swept in looking dazzling in towering heels and a pristine John Travolta white trouser suit
We sat in awkward silence for a few minutes. Restaurant critic AA Gill used to refer to this as the ‘pretend wait’ – that moment when snooty maitre d’s needlessly make you hang around by the cloakroom before leading you into an empty dining room. The hush was momentarily punctured while one of the clipboards took an urgent call. The Oval Office, probably.
Eventually, Mrs Miller swept in looking dazzling in towering heels and a pristine John Travolta white trouser suit. Wowzers! This thing was so bright our goody bag should have included complimentary Ray-Bans. She might need to put some protective film around that little number when she’s out supping halves of mild around the working men’s clubs up north. The cleaning bills could be hellish.
The hair was lustrous and bouncy, her lacquered nails so sharp she could have sliced rare tenderloin. From her left hand there dangled a sparkler big enough to make Kim Kardashian envious.
The name of this venture was True and Fair (Slogan: ‘We all deserve better’). It even had its own little logo in the form of a colourful tornado, presumably a reflection of the whirlwind Miller hopes to bring to British politics.
More from Henry Deedes for the Daily Mail…
As orators go, Miller is no Boudica. The delivery was lifeless and clunky. Far too much reliance on the autocue. But she will improve – if this thing ever gets off the ground.
We heard the usual spiel about a government that ‘works for everyone’ and ‘delivering for the British people’. But is La Miller necessarily the vessel to bring about such change? She hardly screams approachable. She talks the haughty language of the careerist, referring to need for ‘proper bandwidth for proper strategic thinking’, whatever the hell that meant. Nor does she exactly go out of her way to appear what focus groups might call ‘down to earth’. Her outfit alone could probably have paid off most ordinary people’s mortgage.
True and Fair’s target audience presumably is not the occupants of earthy saloon bars or bingo halls but disaffected centrists: Chablis- slurping year zeroers who feel embarrassed to be aligned to the old parties. We’d been here before not all that long ago when pro-European Labour and Conservative MPs sloped off in 2019 and formed the now defunct much-maligned Change UK. Fat lot of good it did them.
Questions? Well, there weren’t many. With the Change UK lot in mind, a journalist asked Mrs Miller why she, a political novice, felt she could succeed where experienced MPs had failed. ‘Different times,’ she explained. Indeed they are. Our two main parties are far closer together politically. Which makes you wonder where she thought True and Fair’s votes would come from.
Someone asked about policies. She had just two so far. Something about forging a new ministerial code and some dull stuff about electoral reform. But, as she pointed out, these were at least two more policies than Sir Keir Starmer had. She looked forward to plenty more conversations ‘in the coming months and years’, she added a tad hopefully. And with that, she hurriedly insisted she had other media to speak to before slinking off back to what looked suspiciously like an oversized broom cupboard.