A clip of Theresa May playing pool with the Italian prime minister has been posted on social media, which includes her chief advisor explaining to her how to play the game.
As the PM attended an EU-League of Arab States summit in Egypt, rumours started to emerge of a face-off on the green baize with her Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte. It’s all set against the backdrop of May’s struggles to get her Brexit deal through parliament.
I just witnessed something I never thought possible – which is @theresa_may playing pool against the Italian premier Giuseppe Conte. The PM has definitely shed inhibitions in pursuit of a backstop change, though I pray to god she didn’t wager our Brexit future on the game…
— Robert Peston (@Peston) February 24, 2019
Things I didn’t think I’d hear on the news tonight, @Peston reporting that Theresa May has been playing pool with the Italian PM as part of her Sharm charm offensive
— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) February 24, 2019
But what could have been an apocryphal tale was swiftly confirmed on Conte’s Instagram and Twitter accounts with the teaser: “Let’s play pool.”
— GiuseppeConte (@GiuseppeConteIT) February 24, 2019
In the footage, the British Prime Minister admits she’ll be “hopeless” as she’s handed the cue. “You’ll have to show me how,” she adds, unsure of the mechanics of the game.
Conte lets May onto the table after failing to pocket. Clearly hoping to help his boss while she’s caught in a tricky situation, Gavin Barwell, her chief of staff, shows her how to use her hand as a bridge and how to hold the cue.
“Put your thumb and finger like that,” he suggests. Sadly, the video cuts out just after she hits the cue ball, so we’ll probably never know if she’s a natural.
In any case, social media feasted in the footage.
Theresa May trying to act human no.4746886 pic.twitter.com/kTv0CUkKBp
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) February 24, 2019
Several metaphors at play here as Theresa May tonight took on Italy’s PM at pool pic.twitter.com/mfycRiV4ZS
— Julian Druker (@Julian5News) February 24, 2019
Theresa May playing pool while at the same time being snookered.
— Mr Roger Quimbly (@RogerQuimbly) February 24, 2019
Retweeting the video, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, joked: “Pleased to see nothing’s been taken off the table.”
Pleased to see nothing’s been taken off the table. https://t.co/hQlT6fRTaA
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) February 24, 2019