Mark Francois has been named chair of the European Research Group, in what many are hailing as the most inconsequential political appointment since the general election.
With Brexit well underway, many have questioned the role of the ERG, given its desire for Brexit has now been met.
An ERG source told us, “Well, the fact we have already pretty much got what we wanted means it’s probably very low risk to let Mark Francois have a go at leading us.
“I mean, what’s the worst he could do as Chairman? It’s not like he’ll accidentally lead us to rejoin the EU – he’s not Chris Grayling for God’s sake.
“When we were looking for a new leader we asked who wanted the job, and most people weren’t that interested now – why would you be now we’re leaving the EU? But Mark shot his hand up and started hopping on the spot trying to be seen – he’s quite little you see.
“It seems most people don’t have any interest in being involved in an organisation that’s not likely to see any frontline action any time soon, but as he keeps telling us, he was in the territorial army, so it’s par for the course.”
Critics have said that his appointment is of little consequence, insisting that letting Mark Francois lead the ERG is like giving your child a steering wheel in the backseat on a long journey. They think they’re involved, despite having no effect, but it keeps them quiet for a bit.
As one told us, “Mark Francois’ military experience means I would look to him in one circumstance, and one circumstance only, and that’s if I needed someone to knock up scrambled eggs in a muddy field – beyond that, I’m really not sure what use he is to anyone?”