Student protesters smash windows as they clash with police after entering Millbank Tower home of Conservative Party headquaters on November 10, 2010 (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Artillery Row

You had to be there

Riotous good fun for someone in No 10

The scenes from the US Capitol building, where hundreds of Trump supporters broke into Congressional offices and began causing damage, and curating their social media feeds, will have brought back happy memories for one No 10 staffer.

In November 2010 CCHQ employees were ordered not to leave their then office in Millbank Tower as an angry crowd of students began attacking the building.

Contemporary Tory staffers were convinced that it took David Cameron, in Korea at the time, to call the Met before they finally did something about the thugs, even though, it was popularly believed, they had started a fire under Central Office.

These anti-Tory rioters were ‘the best of our movement’, according to John McDonnell, never one to miss out on vicarious thrills when rough things are being done by other people.

The best and the brightest of the Tory Party, and Sayeeda Warsi, were kettled in the building. And the legion of Spads today who were CCHQ hirelings then have pungent memories of the tales they were told. For our man of mystery, now toiling away in Downing Street, wasn’t one to let this excitement pass him by.

Into the riot he rushed and, by his own account, started mingling with the violent students on the street. Somehow passing as if one of them, he told people afterwards that he had been “observing the protest from a roof” and then went on to rescue documents from a burning police van on Whitehall. An act of heroism he insisted had been very helpful to the polis.

Doubtless early public service like this will have greatly helped this inventive fellow pass his developed vetting come the happy day he was able to walk into No 10 with a lanyard round his neck.

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