Friday, July 08, 2005

Dealing With It

Writing in the Telegraph Alice Thompson reports she was actually interviewing DD when news of the bombs came through:

'Mr Davis was joking in his office. "I won't be cutting the tape at the 2012 Olympics, that will be the Queen." He laughed. "But I hope I'll be standing beside her." We began the interview.

There was a knock at the door. "There have been some incidents, shadow home secretary." Mr Davis kept going. Every few minutes the phone would ring. "Two buses, one Tube station… No, one bus, three Tube stations." The police and Home Office kept him informed. Slowly we realised something serious was happening.

Mr Davis was meant to be going to a memorial service. "There are no taxis, the Tube has stopped," said his aide. The ex-SAS reservist suggested running. "They want you to reply to the emergency statement to the House." Mr Davis cancelled everything. "Get me D1, D2, D3 briefings for a major terrorist assault."

His jaw tightened, but he continued with the interview, apologising occasionally as notes were handed to him. He tried his mobile phone once but it wasn't working. Nor were ours. An official explained the network had been cut off and Westminster was now on red alert. Mr Davis left for an emergency shadow Cabinet meeting. Was it nuclear, biological, chemical or suicide bombers?'

Later he made his statement to the House. Simon Hoggart reports:

"The British people will not be cowed, and the terrorists will not win," said David Davis, and for once it was his quiet, downbeat delivery, without ostentation or displays of instant fury, that made his words both effective and affecting.'
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