THERESA MAY'S fear of being knocked out by a huge golden mace nearly came true last night after she recoiled from it in horror last night.
The Prime Minister caused a few giggles when she abruptly backed off from the large staff.
With hubby Philip standing behind her, Mrs May was made aware of the mace by the City's new Lord Mayor Chales Bowman, who pointed it out.
The PM looked stunned and almost stepped back in shock, but laughed the incident off swiftly.
And it appears to be a long-running concern for her – and other politicians – of being whacked in the face by such staffs.
Mrs May pulled a similar fearful expression when standing behind Black Rod's mace at the State Opening of Parliament last year – albeit a slightly smaller one.
David Cameron has also recoiled in horror to avoid being slapped in the face with it.
Last night the Prime Minister launched her strongest attack on Russia and Vladimir Putin yet, accusing them of "meddling in elections" and using fake news to "undermine the West".
She warned of a Kremlin bid to "weaponise information" and made an "unconditional" pledge to maintain European security post Brexit.
The PM said Moscow was the biggest threat to Europe’s security as she listed its illegal land grab of Crimea, its violation of foreign nations’ airspace and its “sustained campaign of espionage and disruption” as chief among its crimes.
Warning of the "scale and nature" of the threat posed by Russia as she addressed the Lord Mayor's Banquet at the City of London's Guildhall, Mrs May spoke of Russia's "sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption", including hacking foreign ministries and parliaments.
She said Moscow was planting fake news and "photo-shopped images" in an attempt to "sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions".
In a show of strength Mrs May continued: "We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed."