A Very Serious Guide to All the Important People in British Politics Now They're Back From Holiday
We've prepared an irreverent guide to get you back up to date.
Guess who's back, back again.
Parliament returns today with a fresh tan. It's been a long summer break — Jeremy Corbyn has been cycling in Croatia (honestly), Michael Gove coupled up with George Osborne for a week away in Germany (no, really), and even ex-Prime Minister David Cameron tried his hand at a music festival.
I don't know about you, but I think we could all do with a refresh. So here we go: a Global Citizen back-to-school guide on the big names in British politics. Tell a friend.
Theresa May is the UK Prime Minister. Since losing seats in June's snap election, she's been under pressure to resign. But she's not a "quitter", she says, and will see her premiership through until the next election. She wants a Brexit that “works for everyone”, but beside its patriotic colour scheme, it's not quite clear what that will look like just yet. Known for her steely demeanour, many have nicknamed her The Ice Queen. But I'm afraid that title has already been taken.
He’s another politician. No, not the one that looks like a politician. The other guy.
Wait. Not this guy swinging from a zip line?
Boris Johnson on a zip wire is better with the Titanic music...https://t.co/sujAzroqbE— Better with Titanic (@TitanicOnThings) June 28, 2016
Yep, that’s him.
Really? But he's rugby tackling children!
He looks quite similar to this guy. Are they related?
Actually, yes. Distantly - they’re cousins. Boris Johnson is the Foreign Secretary, standing next to notorious raver David Cameron, the previous Prime Minister. Basically, Johnson's job is to go around making friends with other world leaders — something Theresa May has "full confidence" in him to do. He's an important voice in global affairs, and has described the escalating North Korean nuclear crisis as having “no easy military solution.” He used to be the Mayor of London, before going on to be one of the leading campaigners to leave the European Union. He also might think that Africa is a country.
So who's the woman striding to the sound of ACDC entrance music?
That's Priti Patel. She's the Secretary for International Development, which means she's in charge of where the UK sends all its foreign aid. Serious business. The UK spends 0.7% of its gross national income on foreign aid, on everything from funding the fight against FGM to helping over 11 million children go to school. It's important.
Global Citizen campaings to achieve the Global Goals, working with leaders from across the world to end extreme poverty. You can take action with us here.
OK then. Next question. Who's this?
That's Joe Pasquale. I don't know why he's in here.
Weird. How about this dude?
Say hello to David Davis. Brother of Barry and Paul, he's the third, and less famous, member of the Chuckle Brothers. He also happens to be the bloke in charge of navigating Britain's exit from the European Union.
Aren't there any politicians out there who aren't Conservative?
Sure. Just look at this one being tickled by somebody from a trade union.
He secretly wants to follow Ed Balls onto Strictly Come Dancing. Somebody get that man a yellow suit and a boombox!
His name is Jeremy Corbyn. Some will know him as the leader of the Labour Party. But most will recognise him from Glastonbury, or as the only human in Britain who still hasn't heard of Ant and Dec. Loves: allotments. Hates: anybody who stops him from tending to them.
Why is nobody giving this man a high five?
Ah, yes. That's John McDonnell. Right now, as Shadow Chancellor for the Exchequer, he's waiting for people to get on board with his new economic plan. Who knows when his high five will come?
But look, here rides another claim from the West!
Caroline Lucas is the co-leader of the Green Party with Jonathan Bartley. The environment is their raison d'être, and they want to take on the "Big 6" energy companies to create a million green collar jobs. The Greens are also a big fan of introducing a three day weekend.
But right now, everybody's got their eyes on the Queen in the North.
Oops, wrong lady rocking the pink. Nicola Sturgeon is much more pleasant than Dolores Umbridge.
She is the leader of the Scottish National Party. After rallying the north, she almost helped Alex Salmond gain independence from King's Landing. Despite referendum defeat, she led the Red Wedding to massacre Labour in Scotland at the 2015 General Election, and is amassing the cavalry for a shot at a second referendum. Despite an implosion in June's election, the SNP are still the biggest party in Scotland. The north remembers.
Can you please stop with the Game Of Thrones analogies. I'm still on Season 1.
Sorry. I got a bit carried away. But we haven't even talked about the High Sparrow yet.
Tim Farron is probably praying for more MPs. He used to be the leader of the Liberal Democrats, a party that was "decimated" in the season finale of the coalition government. Farron also used to wear sunglasses a lot when he was in a band called The Voyeurs. But to really understand his inner rock star, you have to watch him rap the John Barnes version of New Order's "World In Motion". Everything you need to know about Tim Farron is in the bit where he says "we ain't no hooligans."
But Farron quit in a blaze of wildfire in June, and the Liberal Democrats now have a new saviour. Meet Vince Cable.
Cable was leader almost exactly a decade ago, before passing the mantle to future (now former) Deputy-Prime Minister Nick Clegg. The two didn't quite see eye-to-eye, but famously set their differences aside in 2014 at a Piccadilly Circus pub lock-in. Alas, the press were locked out too. As were their advisers. But at least the internet had some fun with it.
Anyone else after the Iron Throne?
From the East sails the sinking ship of UKIP. Ex-leader Paul Nutall took over after his predeccessor, Diane James, sank under pressure and resigned just 18 days into the post. Now, he's gone too, and a leadership battle — including a candidate who has said that Islam is "evil" — is due to take place this month. Here he is with failed I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! contestant Nigel Farage, as his ex-boss probably mutters "if you can dodge an egg, you can dodge a scandal."
Acting leader Steve Crowther now rules in the shadow of late-night radio DJ Nigel Farage, blood of his blood, who quit the party to perpetually celebrate June 23rd like it's Groundhog Day, and to free up time for impromtu dinner dates with Donald Trump. Farage has hinted at a return to politics. But for now, he will focus on his one true passion - an inevitable stint in the Big Brother house. As you can see, he's thrilled to finally get his life back.
So there you have it. A comprehensive list of everybody important in UK politics. The holiday season is over — and as winter looms, it's important to stay informed. Keep an eye on Global Citizen to keep yourself in the loop on all the issues you care about.