Artillery Row

Those WhatsApp groups in full

Thirteen reasons to ban politicians from smartphones

WhatsApp groups are back in the news, after the revelation that Kemi Badenoch and Michael Gove are members of an “Evil Plotters” WAG. That name is of course ironic: no one in Westminster really thinks Kemi or Michael are capable of organising a successful plot.

But what are the other messaging gangs that keep Parliament running? The Critic is proud to bring you a complete guide.

Ready for Rish!

Secretly launched in 2020, denied in 2021, publicly launched in 2022, then abandoned, then relaunched, then briefly included all of the Cabinet, and now largely unused since summer 2023. Last update, in December, reads simply: “Robert Jenrick left.”

The Opportunity To Serve 

A support group for the growing number of current and former political journalists trying (and failing) to get selected for seats in Parliament. Exchange strategies, news about cheap train fares and ideas for post-election books explaining why the result was inevitable, whatever it turns out to be. 

The M0vement

A group set up by Nadine Dorries while she was researching her book about the secret truth of Westminster, as a cunning trap. Joined by half the Cabinet, in a joke that went straight over Dorries’ head.

“Lee Anderson’s Real World” Booking Group 

Fifty quid fee plus a cab to anywhere inside the M25. “Your family need never know.”

The North Sea Photography Club

A group for those worried about compromising phone messages sent during happier times, explaining how cloud backup systems work, and how to turn them off.

Cost Of Ministering Crisis Group

Have YOUR mortgage payments suddenly shot up as a direct result of the policies of the government that you’re a part of? Discuss tips to save cash on ski trips and school fees, and share news about consulting gigs.

Captain Sir Tom Memorial Spa Support Group 

Forum for MPs trying to work out if there’s a way to do their houses up on expenses.

Apocalypse Preparation 

A group for Conservative MPs thinking about how to thrive and survive after the election. Most posts are from Steve Baker, discussing the best way to stock your bunker. 

Keir Support Group

A group of senior Labour MPs dedicated to tracking the movements of Ed Miliband and intercepting him if he looks like he might be about to suggest a policy idea to the Labour leader.

True ERG

A group made up of Brexiteer MPs who rejected Jacob Rees Mogg’s leadership in Summer 2018.

True Blue ERG

A group made up of Brexiteer MPs who rejected Steve Baker’s leadership in Summer 2019, and those who decided in Autumn 2022 that they should have.

Pitch black, very dark ERG

Mark Francois’s “no banter” tutorial WAG for how to apply your TA warpaint at night with the lights off.


Silent since September.

Truss 2022!

Originally set up to coordinate the Liz Truss leadership campaign, this group now largely consists of tips for trading cryptocurrencies, and offers from Mark Littlewood to supply cheap cigarettes.

Monday Fasting Club

A group for MPs who go without food once a week in an effort to fit into skinny trousers. Founded 2015, one member.

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