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In the Thick of It

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What to expect

‘Sensational … One of the most explosive political diaries ever to be published … As candid, caustic and colourful as the sensational Alan Clark Diaries of the 1990s’ DAILY MAIL

As Minister of State at the Foreign Office, Alan Duncan was once described as Boris Johnson’s ‘pooper-scooper’. For two years, he deputised for the then Foreign Secretary, now Prime Minister. Few are more attuned to Boris’s strengths and weaknesses as a minister and his suitability for high office than the man who helped clear up his mistakes.

Riotously candid, these diaries cover the most turbulent period in recent British political history – from the eve of the referendum in 2016 to the UK’s eventual exit from the EU. As two prime ministers fall, two general elections unfold and a no-confidence vote is survived, Duncan records a treasure-trove of insider gossip, giving biting and often hilarious accounts of petty rivalries, poor decision-making, big egos, and big crises.

Nothing escapes Alan’s acerbic gaze. Across these unfiltered daily entries, he builds a revealing and often profound picture of UK politics and personalities. A rich seam of high politics and low intrigue, this is an account from deep inside the engine room of power.

Critics Review

  • ‘Sensational … Johnson’s Cabinet [has been] rocked … It is unprecedented for a politician to lift the lid on feuding in the corridors of power so soon after leaving office … One of the most explosive political diaries ever to be published … Candid, caustic and colourful … In the style of great political diaries like those by Clark or Chips Channon that capture the spirit of the age. The political memoir of the year’
    Daily Mail

    ‘More than merely bracingly readable … Duncan chronicles the despair, bafflement, plotting and rising acrimony’
    The Times

    In the Thick of It initially grabbed the headlines thanks to the sheer gleeful bitchiness of the insults littered throughout. But there’s a more serious message at the heart of this book … Duncan frankly has a point; that after four years of purging remain supporters from the Tory ranks, what’s left is hardly a government of titans’
    Gaby Hinscliff, Guardian

    ‘Thoughtful and nuanced … Alan’s insights into the role of a foreign office minister provide many of the highlights of the book. I am enjoying it immensely’
    Iain Dale

    ‘A compelling compendium of high gossip and low intrigue, full of withering put-downs and waspish observations’
    Rachel Sylvester, The Times

    ‘The diaries are thoughtful, but can be brutal. The book contains deep thought about Britain’s long-term foreign policy objectives, enlivened by highly amusing recollections’
    Salma Shah, Spectator

    ‘Always witty, usually waspish and unremittingly withering about those for whom he does not care … Closely observed, perceptive, amusing … They are fascinating; they are riveting’
    Christopher Pincher, The Critic

    ‘One of the most sensational, no-holds-barred political diaries of the decade’
    Tatler

    ‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Alan Duncan’s incendiary diaries, in which he buries more bodies than a Mafia undertaker’
    Piers Morgan

    ‘Hugely entertaining’
    John Humphrys

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