30 Mar 2011

I’ll be back(benchers): Arnie meets the 1922 Committee

The 1922 Committee is a rather staid meeting of Tory MPs and peers but tonight David Cameron has a shock for them. He has just brought in Arnold Schwarzenegger with him into the Commons main Committee Room.

There was the traditional beating of hands on desks and a cheer and David Cameron ushered him in. Lord knows what Sir Peter Tapsell made of it all. This was meant to be a moment for the PM to reassure his backbenchers over where Libya policy was going and, at risk of sounding po-faced, I wonder if this looks a touch glib? The PM introduced him as “my secret weapon.”

Gov Schwarzenegger is in London for an evening reception for Gorbachev. In the 1922 the Terminator said he told the MPs and peers (former Transport Minister John McGregor and former Environment Secretary Patrick Jenkin amongst the throng – I wonder what their faces looked like?) that they were “doing a good job.” Then he was off again to loud cheers (did I hear Sir Peter Tapsell whooping? Maybe not) before the serious chat started.

The Prime Minister made a point of telling Tory MPs that “there may not be a perfect outcome” to the Libyan involvement,” and the tone of his remarks, to a room packed with pragmatists, was that he was not going off on a Blair-like foreign adventure. The tone on Libya seems to shift on a daily basis.

Tweets by @garygibbonc4