Gina Miller just tried to launch a manifesto – it was an embarrassing flop

I must confess I feel almost mean writing this summary of Gina Miller’s “pre-manifesto launch” in the heart of Westminster this morning. As if I’m preparing to rugby tackle a toddler.

It must be awkward for Gina and her whole ego-driven operation to come to terms with the fact that, four years on from Brexit turmoil, absolutely no one cares anymore.

Gina Miller, for those of you who need reminding, is the woman who took Theresa May’s Government to court to force her into giving Parliament a “meaningful vote” on her Brexit deal. At the time she claimed her legal campaign had nothing to do with wanting to stop Brexit, now she’s launched a dull, middle-class, centrist, pro-EU, political party that makes the Lib Dems look like exciting ideologues.

It’s called the “True & Fair party”. In January last year, Gina put on a “True & Fair Party” (T&F) event and it was widely mocked as a no-show. At least at that event, five journalists still turned up. Today, it was just me and the Times’s Quentin Letts. I asked the only press question – primarily out of sympathy than interest.

The event was set at Church House, and the signs for her launch were ominous the moment I spotted her event was happening next door to the Government Insolvency Service. They may be in contact after the election.

READ MORE: Gina Miller says ‘there’s no question we need to re-negotiate’ Brexit

A couple of activists and organisers chatted away next to me, unaware of my presence. One posh-sounding girl said that one in 10 doors they knocked on was “interested” and most didn’t slam doors in their faces, which as bars go is pretty close to the floor.

An organiser lent some wisdom to the young activists, telling one of the girls that “timing is everything” in politics. This is presumably why Gina held her event while the President of the free world’s motorcade was rocking up at Downing Street.

Gina eventually made her grand entrance into the room, to dead silence from the 50-strong audience. She welcomed both us present, and those watching online. I checked mid-speech – there were 10 people tuned into the live stream.

Her speech began as expected, words about how the “pound shop parliament” is failing, how the “good chap” model of government is broken, how the political system is “polluted”.

And just as she moved on to her prescriptions of how to solve this crisis facing British Politics, she hit us with a bombshell: “Today we are launching part one of our manifesto.”

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Good God, Gina, not even the proper parties – the ones with members and elected officials – take more than one event to launch their manifestos. You can absolutely take me off the RSVP list.

She later revealed today was merely part one of a three-part epic series, in which she will slowly and surely drip-feed us policy announcements that are broadly indistinguishable from those of the Lib Dems, but fundamentally driven by her ego of wanting to be front and centre.

Her solutions then: put the ministerial code into law, electoral reform, ban sacked ministers from getting golden handshakes, and an MP school for newly elected representatives, among others.

She said we’ve got to move away from a system where MPs are drawn from a “small group of elite private schools”.

Presumably, that’s why Gina (Moira House School, £31,065 per annum) is hoping to unseat Chris Grayling (Royal Grammar School High Wycombe, free) in Epsom.

She invited her election candidates up on stage, strategically placed to lose deposits from a very wide range of English constituencies.

Bizarrely for a party banging on about restoring trust and truth in politics, her candidate in the Derbyshire Dales, Helen Wetherall, was elected as an independent councillor earlier this year, despite being named as a T&F party General Election candidate last year.

At best, this demonstrates a fundamental lack of faith in the electoral potential of her new party, and at worst is dishonest with voters.

Would Gina reform the House of Lords? She said we need “fundamental reform” of the upper chamber, but shied away from calling for its abolition like many of her fellow radical centrists believe. Then again it might be her only way of entering parliament under the Starmer-Davey coalition.

One audience member, Terry, said Gina was “representing the five million Brits not in the UK”. He explained he’d flown in from the South of France just to be here today.

Behind me, Parliament’s premier sketchwriter let out a snort as he hit the jackpot.

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