From the diary of Rishi Sunak, Britain’s acting prime minister:
‘“I’M reading a lot in the media about a man I don’t recognise. A bully, a boor, a petty tyrant. But this cannot be my friend Dominic Raab.” That kind of shit,’ Raab confirms.
He’s in my office with one of his mates watching the door ‘to make sure none of Truss’s fucking lot’ interrupt us, which I find powerfully reassuring and not at all intimidating.
Heartened, I carry on where he left off: ‘The Dominic Raab I am proud to call a friend and colleague is a gentleman. Polite to women, deferential to his elders, always open to suggestions from his dedicated team.’ ‘Fuck them,’ Dom says. ‘Don’t write that down.’
‘I’m not really sure this works,’ I venture carefully, as Dom’s friend appears to nasally ingest a small amount of medicine from a corner of his debit card. ‘Who are we trying to convince? The lawyer?’
‘Because well, lawyers, they’re not really open to being sweet-talked when they’ve got eight formal complaints and multiple witnesses.’ ‘Be a lot more if we hadn’t had words with a few,’ Dom says.
‘And I’m not fucking resigning. Put that in your glowing testimonial, actually don’t. Just because Nadhim pissed off quietly doesn’t mean I will. Priti survived and she used a spad as a human dartboard. My cruelty’s more psychological.’
‘So we’re writing this for…?’ ‘You’re writing this,’ Dom says, leaning over the desk, forehead vein pulsing, ‘so when he comes out with his little report we can hand him something. And tucked in the pages will be either £100K or a death threat. Not sure which.’
‘Marvellous,’ I say, after letting out a short, involuntary cry which I effortlessly disguise as a high cough. ‘Well, should carry on. Mr Raab is courteous, gentle and never loses his temper, even when provoked.’
‘Are you making me sound like a poof?’ Dom asks.