Andrea Leadsom

June is the end of May

It must be a big political drama if I’m writing a brand new blog post!

So, she has finally caved in. That’s right, PM Theresa May has resigned. We all saw it coming so it’s no surprise. Well, it is a surprise that she lasted this long, let’s be honest.

This week, the final nail(s) in the coffin was the resignation of Andrea Leadsom, now former Leader of the House of Commons and her cabinet refusing to support her bringing back a vote on the Withdrawal Agreement for the *counts fingers* umpteenth time. Going through the usual administration process of the business for the week commencing, the Leadsom’s replacement, Mark Spencer, announced:

“We will update the house on the publication and introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on our return from the Whitsun recess,” he eventually said. Theresa May over. 

It seems this would foreshadow her resignation this morning.

In her teary resignation speech, she spoke of the regret she felt in not having been able to deliver Brexit. Almost makes you feel sorry for her. Almost.

Theresa May resigns as Prime Minister in a teary speech delivered outside No. 10 Downing St

Now what? Well, May formally resigns on June 7 which kickstarts the Tory leadership campaign (of which there are may contenders – we’ll get to that in a sec). The campaign should last until July in which the next leader of the Conservatives (and thus PM) will be announced. Whoever is elected leader will still have to deliver Brexit and in true British political fashion, call a general election. I mean let’s face it, it’ll be the only way for them to democratically legitimise their premiership. May also need a referendum on Brexit because we Brits sure love a good election! Anyone else got electoral fatigue? I sure don’t!

Who could be our next PM? The likely contenders*….

  • Boris Johnson – former Mayor of London and Foreign Secretary, it’s no secret that Boris has yearned for the PM position for many years. Having been the face of the Leave campaign, could he be the one to deliver Brexit and take on Farage? After all, it was Farage and the rise of UKIP that fuelled this Brexit mess in the first place.
  • Esther McVey – Former Work and Pensions Secretary, she quit the position last year due to her disagreement with the withdrawal agreement with the EU. In a radio interview, McVey said she would take part in a leadership contest if she commanded enough support.
  • Sir Graham Brady – Up until this morning, Brady was Chairman of the 1922 Backbench Committee, however he has been pondering whether to take part in the leadership bid. Staying on as chairman and participating in the contest would be a conflict of interest. Obvs.
  • Jeremy Hunt – Hunt took over the role of Foreign Secretary after Boris had resigned, leaving his post as Health Secretary. He’s been regarded as a ‘reborn Brexiteer’ after campaigning for Remain in the 2016 referendum but later criticising the EU, referring to it as the soviet union.
  • Michael Gove – Ah Gove, the man responsible for destroying the UK’s education system with his GCSE reforms. Currently Environment Secretary, Gove (alongside Boris) had been one of the key faces of the Vote Leave campaign. Despite being a Brexiteer, he remained loyal to Theresa May by not resigning his post as his other colleagues did.

*Full list of potential leadership contenders can be found on this very useful article by the BBC here.

Whoever succeeds Theresa May will have to face the curse that is Brexit, and will be praying that Brexit doesn’t take another tenure. Is Brexit really an impossible task or is it just the right person to deliver such a task is yet to be found? We await as the drama unfolds. Never a dull moment in British politics, eh!

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May-Day! May-Day!

Andrea Leadsom pulled out of the Conservative Leadership race this week, leaving Theresa May as sole contender and the new owner of the keys to No. 10 Downing Street.

It may or may not have come as a shock to some of you, but Leadsom did come under a lot of pressure for her remarks on her suitably as PM last week. But, there are now some disputes (as there always is in politics) over the way in which May has become PM, questioning democracy in Britain. Bear in mind even Conservative members have not had a say in May’s sudden leadership, never mind the electorate. This causes some to question whether we should have an emergency general election to legitimise May’s premiership?

Let’s take a look at Theresa May’s policy record:

 

At least Cameron seems happy.

On Tuesday, Cameron chaired his last Cabinet meeting, with May taking over the reigns after Wednesday’s PMQs.

Labour’s leadership battles continue – with Angela Eagle launching her leadership bid. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depends on your stance) was overshadowed by the Leadsom’s decision to stand down from the Conservative leadership race. Poor Eagle was left in an almost-empty room with journalists fleeing her leadership launch to attend to Leadsom’s front steps as she announced her resignation, thus making Theresa May the Prime Minister-in-waiting.

Oh dear oh dear. What an awkward sight. If things weren’t already awkward for the leadership hopeful, on Tuesday evening, it was announced that Jeremy Corbyn WILL in fact be on the ballot in the Labour leadership contest. Has the #chickencoup failed? Well with thousands of Corbynistas and Labour’s increasing membership (again, Corbynistas perhaps?) it is likely that Mr Corbyn may be elected with an even bigger mandate, a way to show the Blairites within the party that ‘New Labour’ is well and truly dead.

If divisions within the party weren’t prominent before, they sure are now. With Eagle’s constituency office vandalised and Owen Smith also launching his own leadership campaign, it is an understatement to say the party is going through one bumpy ride. The question is, what happens if Corbyn is elected with a much bigger mandate? One alternative scenario is ‘Momentum’ becomes a new party in itself, with Corbyn as its leader and thus rival to Labour centrists. But let’s not speculate eh.

Needless to say, May’s cabinet reshuffle did gain a lot of attention, with Boris Johnson being brought back into the limelight with his appointment as Foreign Secretary. Yes, BoJo is now the man who will represent the UK to the rest of the world. Hm. May’s other cabinet appointments include:

It is important to note the new role of ‘Brexit Secretary’ held by David Davis – the creation of a new department suggests May’s intention to act swiftly in Britain’s negotiations to exit the EU. Mr Davis, a firm brexiteer commented that Article 50 could be triggered as early as next year, allowing the UK “to negotiate free trade deals with the world’s biggest economies could allow the public to see some of the economic benefits of Brexit before the likely date for withdrawal from the EU around the end of 2018”.  If you were hoping for a second referendum, then you’re out of luck i’m afraid.

 What will May’s leadership bring over the next four years (that’s if she lasts that long the way British politics is going!)? Is this the beginning of the end for the Labour Party as its internal woes continue?

After yet another week of speedy politics, sit back, relax and reminisce over Cameron’s legacy as leader of the Conservative Party for 11 years and PM for 6 years. How will you remember him?