Although the EU referendum has brought tensions in the Conservative party to a head, it’s another rivalry that caught Miss Steerpike’s attention at yesterday’s Remain rally in Oval.
While Bianca Jagger – statesmanlike in azure and white – looked serenely on from the sidelines at Monday’s rally, David Cameron happily took questions from the scrum of hacks present. Alas ITV’s resident heartthrob Robert Peston’s efforts appeared to hit a bum note with the PM.
Peston’s question – about the split within the Conservative party distracting from the bigger issues – got Cameron riled up. His avuncular grin disappeared and he raised his voice as he stressed that Harriet Harman, Tim Farron and Natalie Bennett usually ‘wouldn’t be seen dead’ on a platform together, were it not for the extraordinary circumstances. Perhaps it was Peston’s insouciant method: unlike the other press present, he didn’t bother to introduce himself, instead launching straight in to his enquiry.
Could old tensions be surfacing? Back in 2014, Peston asked if Cameron was ‘more Thatcher than Thatcher’, then the following year Cameron appeared to take a swipe at the presenter when he said the economy was more complicated than ‘just some technical presentation by Robert Peston’. His ego wounded, Peston duly tweeted the quote, baffled by what ever Cameron could mean.
Who’s being oversensitive now?