Theresa May should be considering her own position as Prime Minister. That is not just my opinion, but also one held amongst many – even Conservative – MPs, commentators and journalists.
“She’s set to go in due course” – Anna Soubry, Conservative MP
“Theresa May is a dead woman walking, it’s just how long she’s going to remain on death row” – George Osborne, former Conservative Chancellor
Whilst George Osborne may just be venting his built up anger towards Theresa May for not keeping him as Chancellor, or even putting him in the Cabinet, it has got to be without doubt, considering that even her own MPs are expressing frustration towards her, that she’s got to step down within the near future. If not, she’s only harming her own credibility.
Her campaign was at best embarrassing. Her ‘Dementia Tax’ and abolition of free school meals, brought in by the Liberal Democrats under the coalition, targeted the most vulnerable. Her leadership looked ‘weak’ and ‘wobbly’, not her own self proclaimed ‘strong’ and ‘stable’. Whilst she cowered away from debate, apparently having to prepare for Brexit negotiations, her instability and cowardice was exposed by the other leaders.
“The Prime Minister is not here tonight. She can’t be bothered, so why should you? In fact Bake Off is on BBC 2 next. Why not make yourself a brew? You are not worth Theresa May’s time. Don’t give her yours.” – Tim Farron
Called cynically, to give herself a large mandate, the June election has forced her to form a minority government which we presume will be propped up by a confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP; however, we can’t even be sure of this, considering that we were told they had reached an agreement by a Downing Street spokesperson yesterday and then that they hadn’t by Arlene Foster later that evening. The coalition of chaos, has finally been realised.
Not only does the likely arrangement between May’s Conservatives and the DUP pose a threat to women’s abortion rights and to the liberty and freedom of all people regardless of sexuality, but also to the peace in Northern Ireland. Theresa May is risking the peace, by ending the neutrality of the Government, in a desperate attempt to save her own career.
Even with the DUP, the Conservatives would have a greatly reduced authority over the Commons than before the election. They would only have 328 seats, just a couple over the 326 needed for a majority. Add to this the fact that the DUP will only support her on policies and votes that they agree with and that many who are closer to the centre of her party – such as Anna Soubry – are becoming increasingly concerned, May could not be able to get many of her policies through – a problem further perpetuated by the old Tory ‘awkward squad’, made up of the likes of Peter Bone and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
I suppose the next question is who a subsequent Conservative leader would be, if May were to stand down. David Davis – the current Brexit Secretary – immediately seems a possibility, although one that to me seems unrealistic considering his appalling voting record on gay rights and that he apparently convinced the PM that she should call the disastrous election. Perhaps Ruth Davidson (although she would need to become an MP first) or Justine Greening could also be options, although I will avoid further speculation with recognition of the time, the fact that I have revision to do this evening and that there will be plenty of time to do so in future posts. Let’s just hope it’s not Boris Johnson.