Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Conservative Party leadership contender Jeremy Hunt’s wife Lucia has let slip her endearing pet name for him: Big Rice.
Lucia Hunt revealed the name during an interview with the Mail on Sunday, as she narrated the story of the couple’s trip to her home city, Xi’an, China.
As she was introducing her spouse to her family, her grandmother, apparently, found difficulty pronouncing the name “Jeremy”. Lucia said:
“She would just call him the “big mi”. Mi means “rice,” so I call him “big rice”.
Twitterati erupted with jokes and memes, which practically wrote themselves:
Jeremy Hunt's wife Lucia reveals her pet name for him is 'Mr Big Rice' as he dubs himself the 'insurgent' Tory leadership candidate after Boris storms ahead— Hans Solo (@thandojo) June 16, 2019
Lucia Hunt giggles as she explains why 'Big Rice' can become Prime Minister pic.twitter.com/N8z4x5kaMd
Jeremy Hunt's wife reveals that her pet name for him is "Mr Big Rice". I wonder if the wives of other candidates for the Tory leadership have names for their husband's todgers. Is there a Mr Floppy out there, or perhaps a Biggus?— Paul (@PaulOnBooks) June 16, 2019
Stephen Barclays wife calling him banker? Or sounds like?— GoaKev (@goa_kev) June 16, 2019
Hardly flattering, a grain of rice. Maybe it’s long grain?— Scott #NHSlove (@bassdubware) June 16, 2019
Presume Johnson’s is ‘Mr Working late at the office again’— Griffin Historical 🇪🇺 (@GriffHistorical) June 16, 2019
Mr Big Rice? Is that because if Jeremy Hunt is left standing at room temperature for a while he can cause nausea? pic.twitter.com/EW8a2wiBdX— Tiernan Douieb (@TiernanDouieb) June 15, 2019
If he is fed to pigeons they explode— Cylon & Garfunkel. (@Nickipedia101) June 15, 2019
Jeremy Hunt....— Apollon101 (@Apollon101) June 16, 2019
Mr Big Rice....?!
Oh my f*****g days!!!!#marr
this is the most human and possibly only likable thing about him!— ciaran upton (@ciaranupton) June 15, 2019
Lucia, met her husband while working in Warwick; they have three children. She went on to endorse the Tory leader hopeful:
“He is kind, he is always generous, he cares about his family and he is very strong. He never hides from challenges.”
The Tory leadership contest is heating up, as Conservative leadership favourite Boris Johnson was taunted by rival Hunt after his conspicuous absence from a live televised debate.
In the 90-minute Channel 4 broadcast on Sunday evening, Hunt and fellow contenders Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart faced questions from host Krishnan Guru-Murthy and a studio audience.
The Channel had installed an empty podium on the stage in place of Boris Johnson, who declined the invitation.
At some point during the debate Jeremy Hunt asked: “Where is Boris? If his team won’t allow him out with five fairly friendly colleagues, how is is he going to deal with 27 European countries?”
Theresa May stepped down on 7 June as the leader of the Conservative Party, weighed down by her inability to gain MPs support for the Brexit withdrawal agreement she negotiated with the EU.
Her resignation triggered a Tory leadership contest that originally had ten candidates, with round one on 13 June eliminating three contenders, who failed to reach the threshold of 17 votes and witnessing Boris Johnson emerge as the front-runner. Boris Johnson leads the pack with 114 votes – 36.4% of Conservative MPs; Jeremy Hunt is the second-favourite, with 13%. Michael Gove and Dominic Raab come third and fourth respectively. Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper, and Esther McVey were all eliminated after failing to get more than 5% of votes.