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therealpm: annoyed[personal profile] therealpm on May 10th, 2015 07:24 am (UTC)
*Peter takes a break from writing another Labour leadership candidate's article to check what the papers have already published. Out of sheer habit, he doesn't swear.

Well.

Obviously John's going to be feeling terrible, and he can't imagine the current situation is terribly pleasant for the children either. Particularly not with photographers camped outside, waiting to document every move. They're probably hanging around John's Buckinghamshire place as well. Fortunately, a quick tex to Nat confirmed that the Marlsborough property was currently empty (and the fireplace there was of a much more satisfactory size).

He picks up the phone and dials the Battersea landline.*

Hello.

Yes, I'm coming over to pick up the children - can you have them ready to leave in five minutes?

No, through the fireplace. If he is still there then he needs to move to a different room.

No. Goodbye.

*He hangs up.*

Text from 07### ######

John,

taking the children to Marlborough for the day. Shouldn't be any press. Your presence to help keep an eye on all of them would be appreciated.

-Peter

bamfbercow: Oh for goodness sake...[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 10th, 2015 07:37 am (UTC)
*For once, John isn't eating his weight in biscuits. Instead, he has chosen to try and get back to a sort of normalcy, working through letters from constituents and drawing up list of supporters should Cameron and his majority try and oust him on the first day. At least Kaufman is now Father of the House, that should make things slight easier, with any luck.*

*Every so often, however, he has to get up and walk around, or shake his head to stop the mental meandering his thoughts had taken without his permission. My last election campaign....*

*Thankfully, the sound of his phone going off drags him back before he breaks and heads for the sweets cupboard.*

*He reads the message.*

Text from 078## ######

Peter,

I suppose I could take a break from this paperwork to help you out. ETA?

-John
therealpm: Confused[personal profile] therealpm on May 10th, 2015 07:43 am (UTC)
*Peter has managed to extract the children from Battersea with minimal argument and is now organising a sandwich production chain in the kitchen. The kids are rather subdued and there's an absence of the usual 'lively debate' about fillings. Even Freddie is quiet.*

Text from 07### ######

John,

as soon as possible. We're going to Pewsy nature reserve. Dress appropriately.

-Peter
bamfbercow: Sad[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 10th, 2015 07:46 am (UTC)
*Even John knows a suit is hardly appropriate attire for such a situation. He fetches a new, more casual outfit and pulls on a jumper for good measure. He's pretty much flying on automatic by the time he's ready and replies.*

Text from 078## ######

Peter,

Ready when you are.

-John
therealpm: I don't think so[personal profile] therealpm on May 10th, 2015 07:51 am (UTC)
*His phone beeps twice - one a text from John, the other a reminder of his appearance on the Andrew Marr show at 9.

Bugger.

He hustles the children, all clutching sandwiches, through the fireplace to Speaker's house and tells John he'll be back a little after ten.*
bamfbercow: huh?[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 10th, 2015 07:58 am (UTC)
*It takes a while but they all settle down somewhat comfortably. The sandwiches are put away in the fridge, coats and shoes discarded by the front door. The children are far quieter than usual, but by halfway through Peter's absence things almost seem normal again despite the glaringly obvious space on the sofa.*

*By the time Peter returns, they're in the middle of reading a book, John pulling ridiculous faces and voices as he reads.*
therealpm: Pleased[personal profile] therealpm on May 10th, 2015 08:54 am (UTC)
*It's gratifying to know that Tim Montgomerie is still receptive to 'suggestions' as to how the response to certain stories should proceed, especially as the recent electoral blight might be expected to reduce one's influence with the press. If he's honest with himself, the political bloodletting re: Miliband was incredibly satisfying.*

Everybody ready to go?
bamfbercow: posing[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 10th, 2015 09:02 am (UTC)
*Peter is shushed and the story is swiftly finished. They dash to get their shoes and coats back on, and the packed lunch is retrieved from the fridge.*

*By the time they are sorted Peter is sitting on the sofa texting away to goodness only knows who.*

Ready?

*A final text and they're off for a day of sunshine, countryside and ice cream*

Edited 2015-05-10 12:55 pm (UTC)
Chris Bryant: Looking Hard[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 12th, 2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
*Chris has been a bit busy with catastrophic election defeats (well, he put Ed Miliband fourth, they can't blame him) and joining the Shadow Cabinet to keep tabs on the latest round of tabloid sleaze, but Lindsay caught his elbow at the PLP meeting and told him the news.*

*He feels guilty for not finding out earlier. The one time he's not obsessively checking Twitter and something like this happens. He feels awful for John, and just awful generally- it's been a horrendous week and it doesn't help that the bloody Leaders' Office apparently knew they were going to lose and didn't think to tell anyone- so it's with less than his usual enthusiasm that he raps on the door to the Speaker's flat in the vague hope that John might be in.*
bamfbercow: Oh for goodness sake...[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 13th, 2015 07:41 am (UTC)
*John's burying himself in work again - it's better for him than the biscuits and with the children at Sally's for the night it would be all to easy to open a bottle of something alcoholic. All in all, letters from his constituents gearing up for the EU referendum already are the better choice.*

*He's taken aback when he hears the knock on the door. Most people have left him well enough alone or sent a sympathetic (or, in Fabricant's case, not so sympathetic) email or text.*

*He puts down his pen and heads to the door. A quick look through the peep-hole shows that it's just Chris and not some journalist who has managed to sneak by security again. He really needs to update the wards but despite being back in Speaker's House, he's not technically Speaker and doesn't have access to the full power of the Mace. He'll have to wait for next week to see if he gets it back...*

*He opens the door.*

Chris, what a pleasant surprise. Do come in.
Chris Bryant: Srs Bsns[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 13th, 2015 09:30 pm (UTC)
I just heard about the business with the Daily Mail. Not that I tend to assume anything I read in those pages is true, but- Well, I thought I should stop by and see how you were holding up.

If there's anything I can do... I know how awful it is to have them circling like this.
bamfbercow: posing[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 14th, 2015 05:40 am (UTC)
*John fetches a round of tea for a lack of anything more productive to do.*

Thank you, Chris. For once it seems that they have hit upon the truth, at least as far as I have now been made aware.

Thankfully living here means I am easily capable of avoiding most of the media circus for the time being. Should I require any further assistance I am fully aware of the ways in which I can contact you.

*John takes a sip of his drink and tries to turn to more cheerful topics.*

I do believe that congratulations are in order, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. I am sure it is with great delight that the likes of James Blunt look upon your appointment. Well done.
Chris Bryant: Bond[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 15th, 2015 01:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, John. I'm so sorry.

You know, if Sally had wanted something to do during an election campaign I'm sure we could have found her something.

*Fat chance of her getting selected for a Labour seat now. Chris will make it his personal mission to ensure she never even makes it onto a short list. Although really the miles-long list of previous indiscretions had already scuppered her chances.*

Ah yes, my brief moment in the limelight. Thanks.

*Chris looks somewhat less gleeful than one might expect about his long-delayed apotheosis. More sheepish, really. He takes a bigger sip of his tea than he really should at this stage of the cooling process and scalds his tongue.*

Um, about that- That's actually the other reason I wanted to come see you, apart from general affection, concern for your well being, etc etc. Obviously we, the Labour Party, have completely screwed up. So now it's down to we, this House of Commons, to provide any kind of scrutiny for this awful Government. In other words, Mr Speaker, it's down to you.

Are you going to be all right? I know the timing is awful and my party has left you- not to mention the country- in he lurch, but we'll have to be perfect from now on, all of us.

Edited 2015-05-15 01:26 pm (UTC)
bamfbercow: posing[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 15th, 2015 01:51 pm (UTC)
*He shoots Chris a small, sad smile.*

She was on crutches, Chris - Sally could hardly have gone door knocking all week...

*John tries to stop himself thinking yet again about what Sally did manage to do, despite her fractures, and turns to Chris's other comments.*

While of course your belief in me is most refreshing, I hasten to add that I am yet to have the faith of the Commons reinstated in me.

Should the House see fit to once again appoint me to the role of Speaker, I will, of course, do my best to ensure that Parliament fulfills its duties as effectively and robustly as possible. You don't have to worry about that.

*He laughs, hollowly.*

I mean, what else have I got left to lose?
Chris Bryant[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 15th, 2015 02:05 pm (UTC)
Leaflets! We could have given her leaflets to fold!

I have every confidence we'll reinstate you. Even with a majority of seven Cameron won't have enough votes to do you down, not if the Liberal Democrats aren't inclined to help. And I think their helpful mood has passed, now that the public has made its opinion on their contributions to the last government so clear.

If there's anything we can do to make things easier for you- Angela can't approach you directly, of course, but you can always pass a message through me. And we have a line of communication open to Bone's gang. I'm sure the SNP will cause as much chaos as they can but we'll try to coordinate the Opposition.

*Chris smiles sadly*

The one silver lining in all this is that we're still on the same side, as it were. I wasn't looking forward to you holding me to account!
bamfbercow: Happy[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 15th, 2015 02:18 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you of all people do not require my assistance in finding ways to cause trouble for the government. Especially since you are fully aware of my reforming zeal and penchant for granting Urgent Questions.

*John can't help but laugh at that last comment.*

It would have been interesting, certainly...
Chris Bryant: LULZ[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 15th, 2015 02:38 pm (UTC)
*Chris grins*

I'm brushing up on my Erskine May. I think we can manage a few interesting... surprises.

I can just imagine it: 'I must say to the Secretary of State, his answers must be shorter and contain less rambling anecdotes about the 1874 Parliament.' Or is it "fewer" anecdotes? Fewer. At any rate, I was dreading the prospect, but it looks as though I've escaped your ire for the foreseeable future.
bamfbercow: Trying not to laugh[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 15th, 2015 02:46 pm (UTC)
As you have previously demonstrated, it is entirely possible to indulge in unparliamentary behaviour without sitting on the government benches. You aren't entirely free to do as you wish.

And while I may very well enjoy your anecdotes regarding the 1874 Parliament, I cannot help but feel that there are few debates into which they could fall and still be accurately classified as relevant.
Chris Bryant: Trollololololol[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 15th, 2015 02:53 pm (UTC)
Oi! Chuntering is part of an ancient and venerable parliamentary tradition, thank you very much. Besides, I doubt you'll have to worry much about me in future; the SNP are sure to drown me out.

You'd be amazed where I can work the Plimsoll line in... Admittedly it may be a bit of a struggle in my current brief. But it's now my job to talk about Wolf Hall.
bamfbercow[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 15th, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
And I am sure you will greatly enjoy your new opportunity to highlight the historical inaccuracies in many a period drama. Whether the arts collective will be as equally engaged is another discussion altogether, of course.
Chris Bryant: Glee[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 15th, 2015 03:10 pm (UTC)
I'm sure the community will welcome the opportunity for some constructive criticism.

Although they might be a bit more concerned about the future of the BBC.
bamfbercow: Trying not to laugh[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 15th, 2015 03:19 pm (UTC)
*It's only as John tries to hide his laughter in his tea that he realises his mug is empty. He puts it on the coffee table in front of him.*

Ah, yes, I know that is one debate that you will relish.

I do hope that you will see fit to grace the chamber with your presence even if your brief is not necessarily the one being debated at the time.
Chris Bryant[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 15th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
I'll try. Although I no longer have the freedom to speak outside my brief, now that I'm on the frontbench.

*Hopefully Hilary Benn will be able to hold the Government to account over Russia, but Chris will miss Foreign Office Questions. And speaking up on behalf of John and Parliament in procedural debates, of course. He'll always regard his speech in the penultimate debate of the last Parliament as one of his finest.*
bamfbercow: posing[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 15th, 2015 03:40 pm (UTC)
*John smiles sadly and nods.*

Your contributions will be greatly missed by many, I am sure.
Chris Bryant: Srs Bsns[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 15th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC)
Certainly by me! But I suppose it's not fair on the backbenchers if the Shadow Cabinet get to speak in every debate.

And the nice thing about Culture is it has a bit of everything in it, really. I do feel lucky to have this brief, even if I got it mostly through attrition.

Edited 2015-05-15 03:46 pm (UTC)
bamfbercow: Oh really?[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 15th, 2015 03:52 pm (UTC)
I hardly think that was the reason for your promotion, Chris. You've worked hard for the party for a long time - it's only right that your work should be rewarded.
Chris Bryant: Looking Hard[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 15th, 2015 04:09 pm (UTC)
I'd like to think so- I've certainly worn out a few pairs of shoes doorknocking in Tory constituencies over the past two years. But having a Welsh seat rather than a Scottish one probably had more to do with it.

Most likely I have until September and then Saint Andy will come through and purge the heretics.
bamfbercow: Trying not to laugh[personal profile] bamfbercow on May 15th, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
Are you not considering putting yourself forward for the leadership then?

Not fond of the idea of Prime Minister Bryant in five years' time?
Chris Bryant: Trollololololol[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on May 16th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
At the rate we seem to be losing candidates, I may have to!

I'm fond enough of the idea, but I'm not sure the electorate want someone who they've seen in their underwear...