Keir Starmer’s First Job Might Be To Clear The Stationery Cupboard

The Times’ columnist, Matt Chorley gives a lighthearted look at the role of stationery in the office of No. 10.

In his column for The Times last week, Matt Chorley took a look back on former Prime Ministers’ penchant for stationery, before concluding that Keir Starmer might be well placed to make a call to Ryman before Rayner before any trip to the palace.

Matt writes: “One of the first acts of a new arrival in No 10 — almost certainly designed to put the willies up them on day one — is to write the ‘letters of last resort’, instructions to the nuclear subs in case of losing contact with an obliterated Britain.”

He goes onto retell a story about David Cameron and a mishap: “There was a rather comic moment as he handed it over to the naval attaché, the envelope pinged open and so there was a sort of sudden call for Sellotape and Pritt Stick.”

Matt recalls some of the former Prime Ministers’ favourite writing instruments, with “Margaret Thatcher relishing writing NO in Tory blue felt-tip pen on cabinet papers” and “Gordon Brown accused of ‘vandalising’ the Commons dispatch box with his thick black marker pens.”

Apparently Boris Johnson liked a thin sleeve for his speech papers, whereas Liz Truss preferred a more robust folder that opened “with a real thwack on the lectern.” With Matt wryly observing: “And a real thwack on the economy, it turned out.”

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