THE Prime Minister should start brandishing the big stick at Tory MPs who are making her premiership more difficult than it need be.

Theresa May will not mince her words when she tackles these diehards who do not seem, even now, to accept they lost the EU referendum and that they must back her, like it or not, in the formidable negotiations with Brussels.

She should tell them privately – and publicly if necessary – that some of their actions will not only weaken Britain’s case for Brexit, but bring comfort to those Brussels bigwigs determined to make it as hard and expensive as possible for Britain to leave.

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Even with the support of the DUP, the Government’s majority in the Commons is still dangerously slim, and May and her whips must warn these malcontents that they are playing with fire if they continue along their present path.

MANY people, myself included, could not understand why Harriet Harman, Labour’s former deputy leader, did not run for the leadership of the party in 2010. Now, she appears to be regretting that she did not stand.

In a radio interview with BBC Radio 4, she said that if she had been a candidate, she would have won the title.

I agree – but it’s too late now to shed tears.

At that election, the party rejected the favourite David Miliband and instead elected his much less known brother, Ed. Neither conducted impressive campaigns, and the rest of the candidates were even more dreary than the two brothers.

But had Harriet stood, she would have added zip and vim to what was a dull and lifeless campaign. My guess is that she would have won easily.

She has always been a popular figure in the Labour Party, and when she was acting leader during that campaign she gave as good as she got – and more – in her weekly exchanges with then Prime Minister David Cameron.

How different things would have been had she taken the plunge.

But alas for her and for Labour, they both missed a trick, and are paying for it now.

A RECENT survey showed that a majority of the young people who took part in it, thought ‘filibuster’ was a sex act.

If that were true, the House of Commons would be a much more entertaining place.

The word derives from an old Dutch word meaning a pillaging and rampaging adventurer (freebooter), a definition that hardly describes those tedious MPs who practise the modern form of filibustering: Making long, sleep-inducing speeches in order to obstruct parliamentary business.

There have been many examples of filibustering – some successful, some not – at Westminster, but the prize must go to a small group of Canadian MPs who filibustered for more than 58 hours in 2011 to prevent the passing of a Bill which, they claimed, would have an adverse effect on postal workers.

No sleeping pills required after that marathon.