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The constant Gardiner

Days after his Brexit blunder, Barry Gardiner was back on the Today program. But how did a man known for jokes about forgotten toothpaste get here?

By Marie Le Conte  

There is an anecdote everyone will have heard if they’ve spent enough time around people who used to work for the Labour party. It goes like this:

It was the last day of Labour conference in Brighton, at some point during the Blair and Brown years, and Barry Gardiner walked into a room full of aides. “Does anyone have toothpaste?”, he asked.

One of the advisers did, and handed him the tube. “Oh thank god,” he said, “I’d forgotten…

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