Brexit Secretary David Davis used a shock appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe to tell some scathing jokes about his colleagues – and a few self-deprecating ones, too.
He poked fun at Brexit, Theresa May’s sense of humour and running to be prime minister at the 30-minute event on Sunday.
Mr Davis admitted the set could “ruin my career” as he was introduced to a sell-out crowd watching Alex Salmond Unleashed, a show chaired by the former SNP first minister.
Introducing his surprise guest, Mr Salmond welcomed his former Commons opponent as a “friend”, revealing the pair had teamed up to try to force Tony Blair out of power over Iraq.
Invited back to the Cabinet after last year’s Brexit vote, Mr Davis began the Q&A by revealing he chose the Department for Exiting the European Union’s name – so he could nickname it ‘Department X’.
Theresa May’s reaction was “not a thing”, he recalled.
Asked if he was saying the Prime Minister did not have a sense of humour, Mr Davis replied: “I told you what this would do to my career.”
The Brexit boss also poked fun at himself, saying the “transition period” for leaving the EU meant something different to everyone, “including me on different days”.
He even had a wry joke at his own leadership ambitions, after a poll found he was favourite to replace Theresa May.
“That’s the most dangerous place to be,” he joked.
And referring to his failed race for the top job against David Cameron in 2005, he added: “I’m really a very bad leadership campaigner.”
Mr Salmond’s show promotion describes him as “unleashed from the restraints of public office” after he lost his Gordon seat in this year’s general election.