Footage has emerged of UK Prime Minister Theresa May attempting to play pool with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Stepping away from negotiations at the EU-Arab League summit in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, May accepted a friendly challenge to a game from her Italian counterpart. But she had to rely on him to show her the fundamentals of a pastime which is popular in pubs across her homeland.
In the video, posted to Twitter by the Italian premier, May can be heard saying, “I’ll have a lot of support but I’ll be hopeless. You’ll have to show me how,” as he hits an unsuccessful shot of his own on the black.
As Conte chalks the cue for her, May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell steps in to assist the Italian in his explanation of the game.
Lining up the ball at the end of the table, May awkwardly splays her fingers to steady the cue and strikes the white. Perhaps to save her blushes, the video cuts out before the shot is completed.
Latest awkward moment
It was the latest awkward moment in front of the cameras for the famously reserved British leader, who, on a recent tour of southern Africa, had been filmed gracelessly dancing along to a children’s musical performance in Cape Town and then in Nairobi while meeting some scouts.
Following widespread online mockery, May owned that cringeworthy episode, spoofing herself on stage at her party conference in October last year, by repeating her jerky dance moves to the sounds of Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”
Online commentators were quick to point out the similarities to the pool episode.
“Today in Theresa May’s Neverending Anxiety Dream Of A Premiership: playing pool! apparently for the first time and unexpectedly! in front of several cameras! with Gavin Barwell desperately trying to help!” tweeted writer Marie Le Conte.
British political journalist Robert Peston said the episode showed that May had “shed her inhibitions” during her under-fire premiership, but he hoped that she hadn’t placed too large a bet on the game’s outcome.
“The PM has definitely shed inhibitions in pursuit of a backstop change, though I pray to God she didn’t wager our Brexit future on the game,” he wrote.
Parliamentary vote kicked down the road
The manner in which the UK will leave the European Union is still up in the air after May said she would take her beleaguered Brexit deal, currently deeply unpopular with British legislators, temporarily off the table.
With just 32 days until Britain is set to leave the bloc, May again delayed a parliamentary vote in a desperate effort to buy more time to revise its terms with Brussels.
The so-called meaningful vote had been penciled in for Wednesday. But speaking to reporters traveling to the summit in Egypt on Sunday, May said it would now happen by March 12 – a mere 17 days before Brexit day.
May said she would be returning to Brussels on Tuesday for more talks. “As a result of that we won’t bring a meaningful vote to Parliament this week. But we will ensure that that happens by March 12,” she told reporters on the plane.