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15th Dec 2016

Theresa May has excruciatingly awkward encounter at EU summit captured by BBC journalist

Painful viewing.

Mike Wright

It’s a painfully familiar scenario .

You’ve gone to a party where you don’t really know anyone. You didn’t want to go but you had to. There was some pressing social or personal (or in this case diplomatic) reason that has forced your hand.

So you pick out some decent threads and pump out your Spotify party tunes playlist to get you in the mood beforehand. Maybe have a few pre-party bevies to get your head in the right place.

But in the recesses of your mind you can’t shake the feeling tonight is going to be awkward as fuck.

And then you get there. You tentatively walk through the door to be confronted by an impenetrable massed rank of faces. All joking and having a great time, except for the odd glance up at you, which is instantly followed by the slightly quizzical gurn that says ‘who’s that guy?’

So you loiter on the edge of the group and start to be gripped by a low level sense of panic. You can either continue to hang around on the periphery of the conversation and look increasingly weird.

Or you can get your phone out and pretend you’ve just received a really important WhasApp. And if that doesn’t work, execute the emergency plan B: Bolt for the kitchen and try to look like you’ve got something of purpose to do there.

Either way, it’s hell. Socially awkward hell. Until someone takes mercy on your shuffling, loitering self and comes over to ask ‘so, how do you know Dave then?’

Now imagine you’re at the same party, but beforehand you’ve publicly announced that you hate everyone there and their stupid parties and you never want see them again.

That’s pretty much the situation Theresa May faced when she attended an EU summit this week.

While the other heads of state all gleefully embraced and slapped each other’s backs, our Prime Minister was left hanging around in splendid social isolation.

She looked for an in. A friendly face (Denmark maybe, they don’t hate us). But she couldn’t find one. So she just loitered and tried to look like she has something important to do.

Which you’d think would be quite easy for a Prime Minister. Apparently not. Instead she just looked on nervously fidgeting her cuffs before pretending she had something really pressing on her desk to deal with.

All the while baring a fixed grimace that screamed ‘SOMEONE PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE ME’.

Unfortunately for our PM the national media was also on hand to capture the whole uncomfortable incident unfurl.

And not a kitchen of finger food buffet in sight to dart off to to ease the awkward tension of it all.