Untamed! the Courteous Foreign Secretary Turns into Brando's Wild One; Wonders If Jeremy Hunt Has Bought a Leather Biker Jacket Yet

Daily Mail (London), June 27, 2019 | Go to article overview

Untamed! the Courteous Foreign Secretary Turns into Brando's Wild One; Wonders If Jeremy Hunt Has Bought a Leather Biker Jacket Yet


Byline: HENRY DEEDES

HAS anyone else noticed that something very peculiar has happened to Jeremy Hunt in recent days? The Foreign Secretary has always been regarded as one of the more courteous members of Parliament. In the Commons, he treats queries from all sides with courtly deference, his voice rarely rising above conversational level.

Staff in his office report working for an approachable and understanding boss whose lofty station does not preclude him doing the morning coffee round.

Perhaps it was his long innings in the Department of Health - six years not out - but he has always given me the impression of a friendly paediatrician who keeps a generous stash of lollipops in his breast pocket for wellbehaved patients.

Since making it into the final run-off of the Conservative leadership contest, however, Mr Hunt appears to have undergone a radical transformation.

He has taken to rolling his sleeves up and punching the air with aggressive vigour. His hair, usually combed neatly to one side, has been allowed to run wild. Untamed, you might say.

Meanwhile, his attitude towards Boris Johnson has become uncharacteristically bellicose, goading him at every opportunity.

It's as if he's been taking inspi-ration from Marlon Brando's motorcycle-riding anti-hero Johnny Strabler in the The Wild One.

I don't know whether Jeremy has yet invested in a leather jacket, but such developments should not be discounted before the leadership race is done.

YESTERDAY, he was a guest on Jeremy Vine's Radio 2 show. Earlier, he'd been in Essex, chatting to market traders and sampling an artisanal milkshake. 'This is one mean milkshake,' he growled, taking a long swig. Heck, he probably could have done with a slug of good ol' Kentucky bourbon in it.

Over at Radio 2, Vine was kicking off with 80s crooner Huey Lewis's catchy foot-tapper Power of Love. This being radio, we couldn't see Hunt's reaction in the sound-booth but I'm guessing some serious grointhrusting was going on.

Vine offered his best Smashie 'n' Nicey welcome.

'Hi, Jeremy, how you doin'?' Hunt replied, possibly rolling a Swan Vesta between his gums. …

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