Brexit is a strange time. It has made judges into enemies of the people, and Etonian ex-Bullingdon types into champions of ‘ordinary working-class people’. And it has made an arch-liberal like myself gradually warm to a certain Conservative MP. I am talking, of course, about The Honourable Member of Parliament for Broxtowe: Anna Soubry.
I was reading the Guardian on Saturday (yes, I know…) and Decca Aitkenhead was reporting on an interview with Anna Soubry. Anna had come to my attention during the Referendum debate for being one of the few Westminster Remainers who seemed to share the same genuine horror with regards to Brexit as me. I mean yes, she has spoken out in favour of fracking… But on the plus side I recall her being one of the earliest to raise alarm over the rising levels of xenophobic rhetoric being brought about by the Referendum. She seemed genuinely worried by the frequency with which she had heard constituents saying things like ‘get these foreigners out’.
And then there is her delightfully saucy way with words. Anna Soubry once said of Nigel F*rage (and I quote):
“I always think he looks like somebody has put their finger up his bottom and he really rather likes it.”
Magnificent. Wonderful. I cannot fault it. Anna Soubry, you have won a hard-fought place in my heart.
Unfortunately for those of us who voted Remain, we woke up on 24 June to find that the majority of the British electorate had put rather more than their fingers up our bottoms. And we did not like it at all.