Liz Truss is as wooden as one of Bjorn Borg's rackets: HENRY DEEDES

A decent minister, yes, but Liz Truss is as wooden as one of Bjorn Borg’s rackets: HENRY DEEDES sees the International Trade Secretary deliver a statement on deal with Australia

As any sportsman will tell you, there are few more ill-tempered places than a losing dressing room.

Moans, groans, fruity language. Perhaps the odd boot hurled across in despair.

In extreme cases, some sensitive dear might be slumped in the corner having a good old blub.

There’s a similar flavour to the Opposition benches in the Commons whenever that piping hot potato Brexit is discussed. Even now, those ardent Remainers are still moping around licking their sores, predicting plagues of locusts and all manner of biblical disruption.

Yesterday, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss came to the chamber to deliver a statement on the recent post-Brexit trade deal we’ve struck with Australia.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss came to the chamber to deliver a statement on the recent post-Brexit trade deal we’ve struck with Australia

The Prime Minister signed the deal with his counterpart Scott Morrison this week, we are told, over a supper of Welsh lamb and lashings of Aussie plonk. (No wonder Boris seemed a bit off-colour at PMQs on Wednesday.)

Truss hailed the deal as ‘truly historic’. It was a ‘gold-standard agreement’, she announced, which ‘shows what the UK is capable of as a sovereign trading nation’.

She said this very, very sloooowly, as ever putting stress on all the wrong syllables.

Decent minister, Truss, but as a performer she’s more wooden than one of Bjorn Borg’s rackets. Responding for Labour was Emily Thornberry. Bruiser alert! Truss was ‘talking nonsense’ appar-ently. The deal was a stinker. ‘Britain needs and deserves better,’ Thornberry said, that tar-coated larynx of hers as husky as a saloon bar seducer’s.

Particularly perplexing for Emily were some of the methods used by Australian farmers, whose meaty products would now pour into the country. These included trimming hens’ beaks and branding poor cows with red hot irons.

Truss pointed out there was not a single trade deal her opponent supported

Thornbug’s concern for animal welfare surprised me. Always seemed to me to have a touch of the Cruella de Vils about her.

Truss pointed out there was not a single trade deal her opponent supported. She just rubbished everything. ‘The reality is that the Right Hon. Lady simply wants to stay in the EU,’ she said.

Thornbug let out a high-pitched shriek of laughter, as if to say ‘well of course I do, dahling’ before returning to the more serious business of fiddling with her phone.

More from Henry Deedes for the Daily Mail…

SNP corner was the usual cesspit of misery. Grumbleweed alley. They see the European Union as the land of milk and honey and thus loathe the idea of the UK flourishing outside of it.

Angus MacNeil (SNP, Na h-Eileanan an Iar) thought it a rotten deal that only suited the Aussies.

He reckoned so much celebrating would be going on in Canberra that they must be running out of the celebratory fizz. This at least prompted a few laughs.

Among the Scots Nats, Angus is a chink of sunshine in a sea of arch bores.

Some of his colleagues such as Philippa Whitford (SNP, Central Ayrshire) tried to frighten everyone with talk of Australia’s low commitment to food standards.

Deeply serious creature, Dr Whitford. Not once have I ever seen her smile.

Others such as Brendan O’Hara (SNP, Argyll & Bute) fretted about ‘cheap, inferior’ Aussie meat flooding the market north of the border. (Do Scots actually know what’s in haggis, I wonder?)

There was an acidic pop at Truss toward the end from John Cryer (Lab, Leyton and Wanstead) who reminded the House that she’d been a Remainer who then flip-flopped after the referendum.

This is true, of course. La Truss was also once a Lib Dem supporter who in her hot youth marched on Greenham Common and sang anti-Thatcher songs.

You have to admire her. She’s had more reinventions than Madonna.

Later we had Business questions with Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was sporting a sharp new haircut.

Too sharp, perhaps. Note to the Moggy’s barber: Perhaps a little less off the sides next time.

If he’d mown closer around the ears Jacob could have passed as an extra in the next series of Peaky Blinders.

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