Theresa May has managed to make a mess of the latest leg of her tightly staged managed tour of the outside world.
The Prime Minister has refused to take part in TV debates because she believes “in campaigns where politicians go out and meet the voters.”
But so far her campaign has mostly consisted of robotically reciting Lynton Crosby’s sound bites to behind-closed-doors meetings of Tory activists.
She couldn’t even manage to get that right when she visited Wales this week and suffered a Freudian slip, saying: “We want to lead the world in preventing tourism.”
And when she did actually meet a real life voter at the weekend, the encounter ended in embarrassment as she was told to keep off his lawn before being berated for ducking TV debates – all in front of local newspaper journalists.
Her latest blunder came yesterday during a visit to an (empty) factory in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, when she appeared to have no clue where she was.
Struggling for the name of the town in one TV interview, she said: “I’m pleased to come to er…um…this particular town.”
She has no idea where she is. Literally pic.twitter.com/m4EN3CN5F0
— Ross Crombie (@RossCrombie) April 27, 2017
Her confidence shaken, she was then unable to answer a simple question on mugwumps in an interview with BBC Radio Derby:
Radio Derby to PM: Do you know what a mugwump is?
PM: What I recognise is that what we need in this country is strong and stable leadership
— Ross Hawkins (@rosschawkins) April 27, 2017
So it was straight back to handpicked audiences of Tory workers and members when she visited Leeds last night.
Telegraph journalist Christopher Hope posted a photo of the meeting:
One user replied to say he worked in the building which May was visiting and revealed none of the company’s workers were allowed to attend:
— Rik Kendell (@Rikki_Sixx) April 27, 2017
So strong, so stable…