WITH Theresa May heading to Number 10, the Conservatives continue to recall the time they passed her over for the far less attractive role of standing for the party in Holborn and St Pancras against perennial Labour winner Frank Dobson. Everybody seems to have a different version of it, even disagreeing over what year it was. Some say 1987, some say 1992. The pulped Wauchope book on the history of Camden’s politics doesn’t even mention it.
One long-server says May simply didn’t perform as well as Andrew McHallam and the selection committee overlooked her for a better candidate at the time. But another very excited local members explained last week that “she lost because of the leather skirt”, the sort of uncompromising wardrobe choice that the selectors were not used to seeing before them.
“The men all voted for her because she was wearing a leather skirt – they loved it,” this version of events goes, “it was too much for the women, however, and they voted against her.”
May has herself been told that what she was wearing on the night counted against her. “I was told that I was wearing a bangle and it was irritating people by banging on the table all night,” she said on a later visit to talk to members in Hampstead. “But tonight I’ve been told it was all about the length of my skirt.”
Fast forward more than 20 years, and, of course in this enlightened age, everybody now knows that Theresa May should be judged on what she says, and not what she wears. As such, this picture, among a few up for offer on the photo agency wires yesterday, is simply a snap of the Downing Street cat and nothing else.