Why did Theresa May wear a hard hat to accept an award last night?


It's not every night that you see the leader of the country wearing a hard hat and high-visibility jacket - particularly at an awards ceremony.

Yet Theresa May bucked the trend elegantly last night, when she accepted the Spectator Politician of the Year award from former chancellor George Osborne.

You might think the garb was a safety precaution, considering May seemingly had no place for Osborne in her Cabinet when she became Prime Minister in July, shortly after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

May's odd choice of evening wear was actually a gentle nod towards her colleague's once-familiar attire while pushing his landmark idea of a Northern Powerhouse to promote investment in the UK's industrial North.

(Brian Lawless/PA)
A familiar sight: George Osborne at Warrenpoint Harbour, Northern Ireland, before the Brexit vote in June (Brian Lawless/PA)

Stepping up to accept the award, May joked: "Oh, come on - we're all builders now!"

She went on: "I'm particularly pleased to accept this award from George, because I gather that when it came to the voting it got very tight and I owe it to George.

"He just nudged me over the line, because he told all the other members of the jury that if they didn't vote for me, the economy would collapse and World War Three would start."

(Philip Toscano/PA)
Boris Johnson said of Brexit: "We're going to make a Titanic success of it!" (Philip Toscano/PA)

May accepted her award shortly after a speech in which Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declared: "Brexit means Brexit and we will make a Titanic success of it", reportedly causing the Prime Minister to put her head in her hands as onlookers cried: "It sank!"

Hopefully Boris will have a slightly better-worded turn of phrase for when the Prime Minister triggers Article 50 next year.