It’s been quite a year in UK politics.
We’ve had one general election, two Prime Ministers, three parties for Chuka Umunna and four Brexit deadlines.
Amid all the deeply serious news there have, inevitably, been some totally bizarre moments.
From the Tory conference going into “do you know who I am” lockdown to, erm, Mark Francois’ penis, there have been incidents we’d rather simply forget.
And that’s not to mention Boris Johnson hiding in a fridge, James Brokenshire’s “two normal, double ovens” or the epic copyright battle that is Lord Buckethead.
Or, for that matter, the “funny tinge” that derailed Angela Smith.
Here we’ve rounded up some of the most What The Flip moments in British politics in 2019.
1. When Tory conference went into lockdown and armed police were called over an MP trying to get his wife into a VIP lounge
A Tory MP was kicked out of the party conference in October after armed police were called to a “totally unacceptable” row.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown was sent home from the Manchester bash after a spat erupted with a female security guard – when he tried to bring his fiancee into a VIP lounge without the right pass.
The incident on ‘law and order’ day led to the International Lounge being placed on lockdown for around 20 minutes.
The Old Etonian, 66 – Treasurer of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs – later told the Telegraph he was “mortified” and said he “apologised unreservedly”.
2. When Boris Johnson hid in a fridge, after which his team steadfastly denied he hid in a fridge
24 hours before the election, Boris Johnson retreated into a large fridge when a Good Morning Britain reporter ambushed him to ask him to appear on the show.
One of the PM’s aides could be seen mouthing ‘oh for f***’s sake’ as the reporter approached the group while Mr Johnson joined an early morning milk round in Yorkshire.
The Tory leader said “I’ll be with you in a second” but walked off before ITV host Piers Morgan exclaimed “he’s gone into the fridge”.
A Tory source later stressed no one “hid in a fridge”. Mr Johnson later joked about the incident in a reception for Westminster journalists.
3. When a Cabinet minister had four ovens, but insisted they were just ‘two normal, double ovens’
The Tory minister in charge of fixing Britain’s housing crisis was given a roasting for having FOUR ovens in his extravagant kitchen.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire also has two dishwashers.
He admitted he and his wife Cathy had the array of appliances installed because there was “not enough room” to cook for family occasions.
A source close to Mr Brokenshire insisted he did not have four ovens, simply “two, normal double ovens.”
4. When Dominic Raab turned to camera and proclaimed: ‘Fairness’
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab made perhaps the most naked bid we’ve ever seen to become a meme when he ran for the Tory leadership.
His launch video began with a bizarre moment where Raab span a full 90 degrees on his heels to turn to the camera , before declaring: “Fairness!”
The internet was gripped for days over what in God’s name he was looking at.
5. When you couldn’t touch this, live on Newsnight
We’ve all been there. First you dump your Labour Party after years of public fights. Then your Party tries to be all chummy like it never happened.
Well, Chuka Umunna’s body language said it all on the BBC’s Newsnight – where we witnessed an attempt at chumminess by Labour’s Barry Gardiner.
6. When ‘Brexit hardman’ Steve Baker quoted Paradise Lost and Soundgarden at the same time, at 1am
No, we don’t know either.
7. When a Tory leadership candidate no one had heard of answered the question no one else thought to ask
Mark Harper was a 200/1 outsider for the Tory leadership who fell early in the race.
But nobody really took advantage of the ‘ask me anything format’ at his launch. So the Mirror decided to act.
We asked the question the country needed an answer to. Who would win in a fight, a lion or a bear?
Mr Harper, a former chief whip, thought for a moment – and then smartly said: “On the basis that the lion is the symbol of Britain, I’m going to say the lion.”
8. When Mark Francois had a staring match with Will Self on live TV after a taunt about his genitals
Author Will Self said every racist in the country “probably voted for Brexit ” in a bizarrely heated confrontation with Leave supporting Tory MP Mark Francois.
The pair’s cool glare at each other lit up the internet.
Mr Francois later protested: “Just before we began the interview he asked me a question about my genitalia. The guy was looking to wind me up. He definitely wanted an argument.”
Comedian Grace Campbell, who was on the show that day, claimed Self “told Francois he had a little penis”.
9. When don’t worry, nothing to see here, the world’s leaders were caught mocking Donald Trump
Donald Trump was the topic of conversation for a group of grinning world leaders who were caught mocking the President at a Buckingham Palace reception in December.
French President Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson , Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Dutch leader Mark Rutte came together for a cosy chat.
Clearly unaware that they are being filmed, Johnson turns to his French counterpart and asks: “Is that why you were late?”
“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top,” Trudeau answers for him.
10. THAT ‘funny tinge’ moment
Former Labour MP Angela Smith, faced widespread condemnation after comments she made about skin colour in a discussion on Politics Live.
The MP, who lost her seat after defecting to the Independent Group and then the Lib Dems, appeared to say: “It’s not just about being black or a funny tinge…”
She then broke off and commented “from the BAME community” instead.
She later said she made the accidental “racist” comment because she was “very very tired”.
11. When a new centrist party accidentally named itself after a petitions website
Change UK, an offshoot from Labour and the Tories, was forced to change its name for a third time – after the threat of legal action by petitions website Change.org.
The petition website Change.org swiftly responded distancing themselves from the new party, and confirmed they were taking legal advice.
Matters weren’t helped when Anna Soubry, one of the group’s MPs, then accidentally called the party “Change.org” in the House of Commons chamber.
To avoid getting sued, the MPs changed their name to The Independent Group for Change. Appropriately, they were wound up just before 2019 came to an end.
12. When Lord Buckethead had to rename himself in a copyright row, only to end up competing against a second Lord Buckethead
Comedian Jon Harvey, 39, from Lewisham, south east London, won 69 votes against the Prime Minister in Uxbridge and South Ruislip as Count Binface.
He said he decided to drop the Buckethead name, which originated from a cult 1984 US film called Hyperspace, after a copyright tussle with the film’s creator.
So imagine his horror when he discovered the Monster Raving Loony Party candidate decided to call himself Lord Buckethead too… and won a more sizeable 125 votes.
13. When Boris Johnson admitted he makes model buses out of wine crates
During the Tory leadership race, Boris Johnson revealed he spends his spare time making model buses out of wine boxes.
In a bizarre moment during a radio interview, the Tory PM hopeful went on at length about how he relaxes by crafting large replicas of London buses.
He explained that he takes wine crates, paints them red and adds paintings of people inside the buses, enjoying themselves.
He told TalkRadio’s Ross Kempsell: “I like to paint or I make things.
“I make, I have a thing where I make models of… When I was mayor of London… I make, buses. I make models of buses.”
14. THAT pose by Jacob Rees-Mogg
15. When Jo Swinson insisted she definitely, definitely doesn’t stone squirrels to death with a slingshot, honest
A viral hoax screenshot, purporting to be from the Mirror website, claimed the Lib Dem leader could be “clearly seen loading a slingshot” with stones and firing them at animals in a 2011 clip.
The entirely invented and Photoshopped story claimed Ms Swinson branded the animals “pleb bunnies” and said “I don’t go for the head because that’s too clean a death”.
A baffled Ms Swinson told LBC: “They’re quite sophisticated and people do believe them.
“I do think it’s worrying because it echoes what we’ve seen in other elections and particularly when you think about fake news and the technological possibility for deepfakes where videos can be faked.
“Then there are questions about the role of publishers in circulating these things that aren’t true. It’s very difficult to prevent its spread.”
16. When Michael Gove tried to replace an ice sculpture with himself, but lost, oh and also Boris Johnson’s dad was there
Top Tory Michael Gove turned up to the Channel 4 headquarters after it unveiled a slowly dripping ice sculpture to replace Boris Johnson in a general election climate debate.
The pushy Cabinet Office minister tried to get on the show himself – but was told no, because it was only for party leaders.
Bizarrely, Tory chiefs were forced to deny Boris Johnson had sent his own dad to defend himself after Mr Gove turned up with 79-year-old Stanley.
In chaotic scenes Mr Gove was also confronted by a 15-year-old climate striker. His party later took the case to Ofcom but the complaint was not upheld.
17. THAT Richard Burgon exchange with Sky’s Kay Burley
18. When a Tory MP was caught setting up a ‘spontaneous’ interview with his mate
A Tory candidate was caught getting his friend to act as a ‘swing voter’ by TV journalist Michael Crick.
Lee Anderson, who has now ousted Labour to become MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, was trying to impress the rottweiler journalist when he called up his pal to help him.
Not realising he was still wearing a mic, he was recorded saying: “Don’t make out that you don’t know who I am… you know I’m the candidate, but not a friend, alright?”
He told him what to do when they arrived and minutes later Mr Anderson he brought the journalist to his pal’s door.
19. When Boris Johnson completed his long-awaited transformation into Alan Partridge
Boris Johnson went full Alan Partridge on the election campaign trail by driving a digger through a fake wall.
On a visit to a JCB factory in Stafford, the Tory Leader drove vehicle emblazoned with Union Flags through a white wall with ‘gridlock’ written on it.
It’s a reference to the supposed gridlock in Parliament that stopped Mr Johnson getting his Brexit deal through.
Much like Mr Johnson’s supposed gridlock the wall was not real and was in fact made of white polystyrene bricks.
Parliament voted in favour of passing Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal.
JCB’s billionaire owner Lord Anthony Bamford personally bankrolled Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign.
… And of course, Johnson’s thumping election win
The nation was left stunned by the scale of Boris Johnson’s 80-seat majority victory in the general election. Tory strategists were banking on a small majority and a hung parliament was still a risk. Which all means we have five more years to come…