Ken Clarke has revealed the cover of his autobiography, Kind of Blue, in a promotional YouTube video, during which he said he "always rather enjoyed the controversy".
Clarke's memoirs, snapped up by Pan Macmillan after a "heated seven-publisher auction”, are named Kind of Blue as a nod to the jazz album of Mile Davis, of which he is a fan, but also as an “apt” reflection of his role in the Tory party, “sometimes in the mainstream of the party, sometimes not”.
Blue, the Tories’ campaigning colour, thematically ties the book’s cover, showing Clarke sat in a blue room wearing a blue suit.
Clarke said in the video that while most politicians publish their autobiographies "when they’re reaching the end of their political time", and write "boring, self-justifying recollections", he would consciously try to avoid this.
“It’s my memoirs I suppose but actually it’s my stream of consciousness and recollections of a life in politics, which I started a very long time ago and found I enjoyed, and I like to think I made a bit of difference - it’s certainly what I tried to do all the way through. It starts at the beginning, goes through to the end, in a rather extraordinarily changed scene, because politics now doesn’t resemble politics when I started. But there’s a constant process, change, debate and controversy all the way through it.
"I don’t know why I survived so much longer than anybody else, because I’m not particularly shy or retiring, or always terribly diplomatic. I had a perverse side of me that always rather enjoyed the controversy, got the adrenaline going. I'm so laid back sometimes as to be horizontal, so I survived it all.”
Clarke was recently at the centre of controversy when he was filmed by Sky News having an off-air conversation with Sir Malcolm Rifkind assessing the merits of the then-candidates for Conservative Party leader. During the conversation, he described Theresa May as a “bloody difficult woman” who “doesn’t know much about foreign affairs” and suggested Boris Johnson and Andrea Leadsom were not "actually in favour" of leaving the European Union.
Clarke, a former chancellor, was appointed justice secretary in David Cameron's coalition cabinet in May 2010. He was “minister without a portfolio” from 2012 until 2014 but returned to the back benches that July following a cabinet reshuffle.
Kind of Blue publishes on 20th October, priced £25.