It’s International Coffee Day for everybody but the Prime Minister, apparently.
While the rest of the UK enjoyed a free Costa coffee today, or at least treated themselves to a mug of instant, Boris Johnson found himself much in need of a caffeine hit at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
He was walking along the main concourse when press secretary Rob Oxley handed him what was probably a very welcome coffee.
“Thank you,” Johnson, who had come fresh off the radio defending himself from allegations of improper conduct concerning businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri, replied.
But before he could take even a sip, another aide move to take the plastic cup from Johnson’s hand.
“What’s this?” he asked, possibly parched after a presumably late night thrashing out the UK’s position on a post-Brexit alternative to the Irish backstop.
“No disposable cups,” Downing Street operations boss Shelley Williams-Walker, muttered back, taking the cup from him as easily as candy from a baby.
As City A.M.’s deputy editor, Andy Silvester, pointed out, Twitter appears to have had more fun with the act of taking the non-recyclable cup from the PM than the act of him drinking from one.
“If Boris had been caught drinking from a disposable cup it would have been the subject of four tweets from snarky greens,” he said.
“An aide snatching a coffee off him and treating him like a child who has over-egged themselves at the pick ‘n’ mix, however…”
And indeed, the internet had a lot of fun with Johnson’s bad bit of luck.
Several people said it was a scene “straight out of The Thick of It”. But others praised Williams-Walker’s quick thinking.
“Give that woman a raise for fast thinking. Protecting Her Principal. Great job!” Gary Ling tweeted.
It’s fair to say that many responses focused on the fact that, having prorogued parliament and been forced to deny groping a woman’s thigh, the disposable cup was not the issue that was going to turn voters against the Prime Minister.
“Yeah cos his use of disposable cups is his biggest PR issue,” one person tweeted.
“Had a think about it and at the next election I’m going to vote for Boris unless he’s used a disposable cup,” Mutable Joe added.
So while you enjoy your hot steaming beverage today, please take a moment to think of our Prime Minister, who really needs a cup of tea at the very least.