Cover 9781785907616

A Times Political Book of the Year

A Daily Mail Political Book of the Year

A Guardian Political Book of the Year

An Independent Political Book of the Year

Veering from the hilarious to the tragic, Andrew Mitchell’s tales from the parliamentary jungle make for one of the most entertaining political memoirs in years.

From his prep school years, straight out of Evelyn Waugh, through the Army to Cambridge, the City of London and the Palace of Westminster, Mitchell has passed through a series of British institutions at a time of furious social change – in the process becoming rather more cynical about the Establishment.

Here, he brilliantly lifts the lid on its inner workings, from the punctilio of high finance to the dark arts of the government Whips’ Office, and reveals how he accidentally started Boris Johnson’s political career – an act which rebounded on him spectacularly.

Engagingly honest about his ups and downs in politics, Beyond a Fringe is crammed with riotous political anecdotes and irresistible insider gossip from the heart of Westminster.


“The political memoir of the year”

Daily Telegraph

“Entertaining and brutally honest”

Daily Mail

“By turns funny and thoughtful, it’s an account of how the establishment works written by someone self-aware enough to recognise the preposterousness of it.”

Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian

“Few political memoirs are worth reading. Mitchell’s is an exception.”

Simon Heffer, New Statesman

“Andrew Mitchell’s lively memoir of life as a top Tory – and tabloid villain – is an enjoyable reminder that the best accounts of political power are most often written by those proximate to those who wield it.”

Patrick Maguire, The Times

“Highly entertaining”

Andrew Gimson, ConservativeHome

“Funny, candid, informative, interesting and, best of all, honest … The book is full of laugh-out-loud anecdotes and it is perceptive and instructive throughout.”

Julia Langdon, The Tablet

“An engaging work that shines an entertaining light on the workings of the British establishment”

The Week

“The book rattles along at a jolly pace … There are plenty of fascinating insights into often occluded parts of the British establishment, from the realities of international high finance to the inner workings of the whips’ office.”


“A cracking good read – full of mischief and shrewd observation. Mitchell lifts the lid on so many layers of the British Establishment, and what he reveals will often make you laugh and occasionally make you want to weep. A human and political must-read.”

Gyles Brandreth

“For once, here is an enjoyable departure from the standard political memoir: entertaining anecdotes combined with robust commentary on Westminster life. For a political outsider, there was much to be learned here – I particularly appreciated the sober and insightful account of Andrew’s work both in and out of the Department for International Development, a revelation in many senses.”

Penelope Lively

“This is a story of an English boy drenched at birth in the attitudes and pieties of his parents, class and time and the slow peeling away of what he had lovingly thought of as timeless verities as he shimmied up the pole to find that most assumed ‘truths’ last as long as fashions in hats. With a wry self-awareness and sense of the ludicrous, this is a thoroughly refreshing personal and political memoir.”

Bob Geldof

“Andrew Mitchell’s memoirs are that very rare thing – a genuine political page-turner. He is witty, self-aware and alive to both the repeated ridiculousness and critical importance of politics. He gives us an inside tour through Establishment institutions with an amused eye, provides an expert’s guide to the huge significance of international development work and also examines his own soul at a time of deep trial. For anyone who really wants to understand politics and politicians, this is the book to read.”

Michael Gove

“This is not your usual self-serving political autobiography. A pacy read, mixing light and shade, and light and heavy, it is unsparing – on the author as well as on others. The story of his role in Boris Johnson’s rise also confirms me in my view that Boris Johnson should be nowhere near Downing Street.”

Alastair Campbell

“Honest and insightful, Beyond a Fringe taught me loads I didn’t know about how the other side works. A brilliant read.”

Jess Phillips

“One of the several merits of this highly engaging memoir is the light it shines, often entertainingly and sometimes shockingly, on how ghastly the establishment can be … This absorbing memoir deftly moves between the comedies and the tragedies of the political life.”

Andrew Rawnsley, The Guardian

“Andrew Mitchell’s memoir is a wonderfully funny book that gives an insight not just into a political party but a particular breed of Tory: elite, One Nation, born to rule, or at least to have a jolly good go at it.”

Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph

“This is an unusual memoir – honest, self-deprecating and rich in anecdote. A fundamental streak of decency runs throughout.”

Chris Mullin, The Spectator
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  • Paperback, 384 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785907616
  • 20 September 2022
  • £12.99
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  • ISBN: 9781785906985
  • 12 October 2021
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