What a torrid couple of weeks it’s been for local Yorkshire Conservative MP and minister without portfolio Nigel Adams. He has been accused of being part of a “toxic cabal” around Boris Johnson who was forced to resign in shame and disgrace last Thursday.
Adams has been a key follower of the now utterly discredited prime minister and was central to both of Johnson’s leadership campaigns. He as much as anyone has been responsible for inflicting on Britain someone now almost universally seen as manifestly unsuitable to run a small whelk stall without supervision, let alone lead a member of the G7 group of nations.
Johnson has been accused of lacking “values, principles, integrity and decency” and was attacked for “the sheer number of allegations of impropriety and illegality”. This is not from the opposition as you might think, but from his own ministers in their resignation statements.
The prime minister was unrepentant and told MPs this week that he was, “proud of the leadership I’ve given. I will be leaving with my head held high”.
The toxic cabal
Cynical observers might wonder where the 50 or more ministers who quit last week have been for the last three years given the ‘sheer number’ of allegations against Johnson. The final straw appears to have been the way he appointed the “handsy” Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip after being advised that previous allegations of sexual misconduct against him had been upheld.
In a Sunday Times article: Boris the cat with nine lives gets neutered, we learn that Adams, along with policy director Andrew Griffiths, had been urging the prime minister to resist calls for him to go, leading one insider to say, “The most toxic members of the cabal had blinkers on”.
The piece, by the invariably well informed chief political commentator Tim Shipman, also claimed that it was Adams who managed to persuade Johnson to appoint Pincher to the position of deputy chief whip in the first place. Apparently Adams now thinks he’s in line for a peerage:
“Nigel Adams, whom enemies accuse of persuading Johnson to employ Pincher, a drinking partner of his, has been telling friends he will get a peerage.”
Getting into the Lords (£323 per day attendance allowance, plus travel expenses and subsidised restaurant facilities) will probably be a reward for several years of sycophancy, since Adams doesn’t have any other discernible qualities that I can see. One of his Selby constituents on Twitter suggested he had done nothing for the town in 12 years.
However, it is not impossible that I am wrong. Since it was Pincher’s appointment that led to the defenestration of Johnson, perhaps he expects a peerage from Keir Starmer when he becomes PM at the next election. Labour are currently 15 points ahead according to the latest Savanta ComRes Poll on 10 July. No doubt they are grateful to Adams – and Pincher of course, let’s not forget him – as indeed we all are I expect.
Adams comforts Carrie
In Downing Street Adams was pictured among a pathetically small gathering where he appeared to be comforting the prime minister’s wife Carrie as Johnson announced that he would be stepping down after just three chaotic years in office spent mainly fighting off allegations of corruption and sleaze. Carrie and Adams appeared to be remarkably pleased with themselves, although it’s not immediately clear what they had to be pleased about.
Adams name appears on ‘sex-pest’ list
Adams’ name cropped up again on social media this week when a list of 36 so-called ‘sex pest’ MPs was published again. This first appeared in The Observer in October 2017 when Adams was a whip. The allegation is that he had had “sexual relations with Robert Halfon’s researcher Emily Burditt and others”.
If true, it would seem Adams is more faithful to Johnson than he is to his wife Claire. The school caretaker’s son has clearly learned a lot from his mentor Johnson.
Adams has always been a huge admirer of Johnson. This photo of them in Selby on referendum day in 2016 is almost intimate in the intensity of Adams’ gaze.
I know I shouldn’t but I’ve often wondered what was going through Adams’ mind at that precise moment.
Adams (55) has announced he intends to stand down himself at the next election.
Not before time, I hear you say.