Political diaries and memoirs are the retirement fund of every politician. A nest egg cracked open when their time in office comes to an end or when career prospects are suddenly curtailed.

Matt Hancock is among the most recent writers, penning the ‘Pandemic Diaries’ with ‘journalist’ Isabel Oakeshott. The fallout from that tome continues to settle on the charred remains of Hancock’s political career.

Former PM Theresa May will be hoping for a better and healthier partnership with her co-author and is unlikely to grant unfettered access to her WhatsApp account for her new book. One which has certainly caught the eye of the general public…

What’s the title: ‘Adventures in the Wheat Fields’? ‘101 ways to create a hostile environment’?

‘The Abuse of Power’.

The what?!

“Exposing the abuse of power by public institutions and politicians in a series of riveting first-hand accounts from her time in office, Theresa May’s The Abuse of Power arrives in September.”

This sounds interesting.

It certainly does. This isn’t some vague and meandering tale which sidesteps every serious issue. The book promises to home in on the abuses which have been all too apparent in politics in recent years. It’s particularly interesting as, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and in the midst of Boris Johnston’s greatest excesses, Theresa May became something of a weathervane in the House of Commons, the cameras catching a sharp stare, shake of the head or look of disbelief as her colleagues prevaricated or failed to answer questions.

Will Windrush get a mention?

That is still to be determined. Windrush of course was the scandal which saw people wrongfully detained, denied legal rights and, for 83 individuals, wrongly deported. ‘The hostile environment’ created by Theresa May for asylum seekers and migrants during her time as Home Secretary is widely viewed as being at the root of the scandal. Her successor, Amber Rudd, took the fall for it. Definitely included in the book is the Hillsborough Disaster, the Grenfell fire and the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan. ‘Stop and Search’ policies and the Salisbury poisonings also feature.


And how is it expected to fare?

Officially out in September, the austere cover (the final design of which is still to be decided) and the subject matter suggests that this is a book of substance, one which will offer real insight from a former PM. May will be hoping it is better received than what Matt Hancock’s own publishers described as an ‘exercise in self-justification’. His Pandemic Diaries peaked at 191 in the book charts and quickly dropped out of the top 1000 with just over 3000 sales. Weeks on from its publication the chart position, and Hancock's reputation, continues to plummet.