Planes, Trains and Toilet Doors: 50 Places That Changed British Politics

By Matt Chorley

’F *** ing brilliant. I would describe it as like a bag of political nuts – moreish and fabulously salty’ JOE LYCETT


Forget Westminster bust-ups and PMQs, some of the key events that have shaped modern British politics happened not in the cloisters of parliament or Downing Street’s many corridors of power, but in car parks, village halls and seaside resorts where the mundane have played host to the mighty. From Pitt the Younger’s Putney Heath duel to finding Margaret Thatcher a voice coach on a train, Harold Wilson’s ‘Scilly’ season holidays to John Major’s dental appointment clearing his path to No10 – these (and many more) are the places where chance meetings, untimely deaths and snap, sometimes daft, decisions changed the course of politics.

Matt Chorley has spent almost two decades covering Westminster, interviewing prime ministers, mocking ministers and chronicling the serious, and sometimes unintentionally absurd, events which act as unlikely turning points in the direction of a nation. Illustrated by award-winning political cartoonist Morten Morland, Planes, Trains and Toilet Doors combines Matt’s insider-knowledge, smart analysis and detailed research with his background in comedy to create an hilarious history of how politics actually happens.

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 12 Oct 2023
Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-0-00-862206-0
Matt Chorley has been a Westminster-based political journalist since 2005, when politics was boring, and it has gradually got madder as he worked his way through the Press Association, Western Morning News, Independent on Sunday, MailOnline and The Times, where he now a columnist. Since 2020, he has presented the mid-morning show on Times Radio. A sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2005 led to a small 14-year break from comedy before his debut stand-up This. Is. Not. Normal. in 2019, during which somebody called an election. His second tour, Who Is In Charge Here?, only had to deal with a war and the collapse of the government. The publication of Planes, Trains and Toilet Doors will coincide with his third tour.


‘F *** ing brilliant. I would describe it as like a bag of political nuts - moreish and fabulously salty’ -


‘Matt Chorley never fails to look at politics from a different perspective and to make it fun. This book is a rollicking ride through the turning points of the last two hundred years, including many we will never forget and others that some of us wish we could’ -


Revealing, touching and very funny, Matt Chorley’s delightful romp through the rooms where it happened (and the restaurants, museums and beach huts too) is packed full of insight, detail and momentous political stories’ -


‘Matt Chorley has the ability to burst the bubble of politicians’ pomposity and show them in all their hilarious ridiculousness. Always acutely observed and completely on point - and loads of belly laughs’ LORRAINE KELLY -