Teflon taken off Theresa

The Rebel
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‘I kept them guessing…’

Our columnist The Rebel looks at what really happened behind the scenes as the Prime Minister announces her decision to resign.

The Rebel is a leading political figure close to senior politicians in London as well as Cardiff Bay, and will always give readers the inside track on what is being discussed in the corridors of power. 

Finally she’s gone.

Things just didn’t add up for Theresa

The Teflon has been scraped off Theresa and after one of the shortest tenures in post-war political history (just surpassed by the miserable Gordon Brown) she is stepping down.

She will formally resign on June 7 after failing to secure her longed for withdrawal agreement from the EU after Parliament rejected the bill three times and MPs are likely to reject her latest one for a fourth time.

Non-Teflon Theresa could still bring the bill in some shape or form back to the Commons for MPs to say ‘get lost’.

The P45 was finally delivered

This is par for the course because her administration has passed the least legislation since 1990.

She had tried womanfully (but misguidedly) to bring the sides of the Brexit divide together but failed spectacularly.

She clung on even after repeated knock backs but knew that even she could not carry on after she lost total control of her cabinet.

The Tories are in trouble

Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary and future rival to take the top job, urged her to abandon efforts to pass the legislation entirely that she wants so much.

Although he stopped short of urging his boss to resign directly, his appeal amounted to a notice to quit from a former close ally.

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, also told Theresa in a separate meeting that her last-ditch effort to win cross-party support with an offer to facilitate a second Brexit referendum was doomed.

It’s all so stable now

As one Remainer Tory MP told me:  “She just had to go.

“Even Theresa knew she had come to the end of the road; it was becoming embarrassing”.

Theresa, who survived a no-confidence vote in December, will know that even if the backbench 1922 executive did not vote for a change in the leadership rules she would struggle to survive the fallout from the European elections.

It’s no game for Boris

Polls suggest that the Tories will come a poor fourth with perhaps just seven per cent of the vote, and behind the Lib Dems and the Greens.

The Tories are petrified of another assassination as happened to Maggie because they reckon that damaged the Conservatives for years.

Some might say unfortunately the most likely to take over is Boris.

This assumes there is not some future scandal the papers will latch on to like cheating on his partner or taking part in a plot to beat someone up.

Boris has huge support among MPs

He is home free once he gets to the second round because he is the overwhelming favourite at the constituency level, but his problem is getting past the MPs in the first round because a lot of them hate him.

Yet he knows this and is reaching out to them – for their part they see him as the best hope of beating the bearded lefty in a General Election. 

Gordon knew he had it coming to him

Mind you don’t expect a coronation, as happened with Gordon.

One UK cabinet minister said those fighting against a hard Brexit would leave the party if a hardline Brexiteer such as Boris was elected as leader.

“In 1997, the party was written off as dead and buried and we have been in power for nine years now,” the source said.

The Tories are power-focused

“The Conservative party is pragmatic and power-focused.”

Another cabinet minister said there was serious concern that it would become a “virility contest” in which candidates would compete to propose the hardest Brexit, with those who had backed May’s deal under pressure to prove their no deal credentials.

So don’t expect any let up in the turmoil.

But perhaps the bags under Theresa’s eyes might ease a little now…


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