QUENTIN LETTS: Just after breakfast yesterday, bystanders in a central London side street witnessed a vignette which said much about modern Britain. A motorcade of top-spec Range Rovers screeched to a halt, blue lights flashing. To the fluttering of flunkeys, and while traffic behind was left to stew, an ornately costumed, middle-aged white gent alighted. He wore shapely black tights, buckled shoes, a gold-woven cloak, frilly ruff and the sort of white gloves favoured by snooker referees. Accompanied by similarly attired aides, this Elizabethan figure processed 20 yards down the pavement before ducking into a side entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice, to be greeted clubbily by two ageing jurists in full-bottomed wigs. Little-known Cabinet minister David Gauke had arrived for his swearing-in as Lord Chancellor.
By the time it ended at seven o’clock last night, Theresa May’s Sandhurst summit with French president Emmanuel Macron was more than an hour behind schedule. During the closing Press conference, the reason became obvious. President Macron is the most frightful windbag. Quel moulin a paroles! Presumably he talked at similar length during the summit’s various ministerial meetings and over the lunch Mrs May gave him at Sir Michael Parkinson’s Royal Oak pub at Littlefield Park, Berkshire. It’s a wonder the carved duck breast with roasted onion tartlet didn’t curl up on the plate while Monsieur Macronandonandon was jabbering away.