Mrs May as a political leader

Mrs May inherited a working majority from her predecessor. She chose to hold an early General election which lost her the majority. Her last series of local elections saw major Conservative losses with the Conservative vote down to just 28%. Her dreadful decision to delay Brexit and hold European elections saw the Conservative party slump to an all time low of 9.1% in a national election. This is a  very poor record and explains in itself why the party wanted her to go.

There were few silver linings. It is true she managed to get the Conservative vote back up to 42% in the 2017 election, reuniting Eurosceptics from UKIP with Conservatives under a banner of delivering our exit from the EU in a timely and positive way. That was her high point. She asked the whips to consult the Parliamentary party over whether to hold the 2017 election or  not. She had always ruled it out when asked. I was one of those who advised against, but I assume she must have got many saying they wanted to do it. I wanted us to c0mplete Brexit before going to the country, then setting out a post Brexit agenda.

She found it difficult understanding the cross currents of groups and voting blocs within the Parliamentary party. She always seem to exaggerate the numbers and strength of the Remain forces  and in her last months  in office seemed to delight in opposing the Leave majority on the backbenches, ignoring our advice and offers of support.

The most difficult thing to understand is why she ever thought the Withdrawal Treaty would pass, and why she persevered with the strategy of attrition trying to get more and more MPs to give in to vote for it. As I pointed out to her, even if in the  very unlikely event that  all Conservative MPs gave in the DUP were never going to accept the provisions on Northern Ireland so the legislation could not pass. Worse still insistence on the legislation threatened her whole government, which needed DUP votes to validate it and keep it in office.

The sorry procession of Ministers leaving office over the same issue would have alerted most politicians to the need to trim. The PM who was always willing to trim for the EU was never willing to trim for the Leave voting majority in the country or for the MPs who sought to represent them. It made her downfall inevitable. It means her successor has to rescue the country from Brexit delayed, and rescue the Conservative party from its historic 9.1% low in an election. Fortunately both tasks require the same positive action to get us out of the EU and to use the freedoms that brings for a better UK.


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  1. Tory in Cumbria
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    How very mean-spirited. The truth is that Mrs May gave huge concessions to the small cabal of hard-line Leavers on her far right – she ruled out a customs union, stopped free movement of people and did all she could to keep the Irish border invisible. But in return she was given no concessions at all by the ERG, who demanded an extreme no deal version which was never on the ballot in 2016 and which was never supported by millions of leave voters nor by many leave-voting Tory MPs. So yet an0ther Tory PM is brought down by the fanatics of the ERG who will never take a realsitic view of our need to do deals with our closest and biggest trading partner, the EU.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

      She would have conceded all these points in the negotiations for an FTA. After all there was nothing else to give. She was a liar and Brussels plant.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

        Why do so many of her potential successors think that by tinkering with the backstop the WA will be acceptable.

        • Hope
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          Mayhab thought she would bounce through without proper scrutiny with project fear background music. Underhand and dishonest spring to mind.

          All Tory MPs let her get away with it from her actions at Chequers why would she not chance her arm again! Gay marriage, Snooper charter, prevent stop and search, European Arrest Warrant all precursors of her deceitful behaviour.

          Decry a Farage for having a pint, decry a Trump when he is tea total. 7 out of 11 Tory Candidates drug users! Their judge,met values and morals centre to policy decisions. No thank you. No wonder Tories are soft on crime and sentencing. They base it on their own sordid behaviour.

        • mancunius
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          Exactly, Ian: the EU has fixed on the Irish backstop as their main lever to controlling the future UK economy and enforcing customs union membership. They are not ever going to sacrifice the trump card they will carry on playing in future negotiations. Sabine Weyand’s leaked reassurance to her colleagues in Brussels makes that explicitly clear.

          The ‘Brady Amendment’ is the typically wrongheaded proposal of a fairminded but naive British politician who expects fairmindedness from an opponent. Any Tory leadership candidates who pursue this course (‘I’ll renegotiate the backstop’) are either being dim or duplicitous.

    • Dominic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      ERG MPs are not National Socialists. They are decent, moral and honourable human beings with wives, husbands and children

      It is testament to John Redwood’s commitment to truth and freedom that he should allow such a slander be posted onto his forum

      I believe it should be a criminal offence to describe without evidence someone as ‘far right’, ‘extremist’ or a ‘Nazi’…

      We are forbade to discuss certain religions and certain forms of human behaviour and yet is acceptable to destroy another human being with this type of vile accusation

      • jerry
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Domonic, no one has ever suggested that the ERG are of the extreme right [1], but some who champion their cause from outside are, or as close as makes little difference (hence the finding of scapegoats etc.). It has become the right wings version of the Labour vs. Militant battles of the early 1980s.

        [1] other than perhaps the extreme left

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          And Tory in Cumbria, above:

          “… the small cabal of hard-line Leavers on her far right … “

          • jerry
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; But did he say within the Tory party? After all UKIP themselves boasted they caused the 2010 coalition, boasted on this site that they forced the 2016 referendum, and almost brought Corbyn to government in 2017 – oh hang on, perhaps they didn’t boast about that last one…

        • Dominic
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink


          It’s impossible to converse with a poster who asserts such surreal and perverse comparisons.

          • jerry
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            I agree Dominic, you are totally unable to comprehends anything beyond your own closed thoughts and that axe to grind.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          That’s not correct Jerry.
          David Lammy as just one example, called them nazis on the Andrew Marr programme adding even that “was not strong enough”

          • jerry
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Well if you want to bring in the whole population of the UK, rather than what someone has said on THIS site!

          • Edward2
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            Come off it Jerry
            Simple claim by you
            And a simple response by me.
            Stop wriggling.

          • jerry
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

            @Edward2, Fine Eddie, I will now be like you, reply to what A.N.Other said in the pub, relayed to me by a mate of a mate, not what you have actually written on this site…

            Stop wriggling yourself, and stop trolling me.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            You said:-
            “no one has ever suggested the ERG are of the extreme right”
            I and others gave you examples showing this was not correct.
            Yet you responded to every post refusing to accept your error.

          • jerry
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Please point out were @TiC actually said the ERG are of the ‘far right’, assuming he wasn’t just talking about our A50 exit policy [1], the “small cabal of hard-line Leavers on her far right” might refer to UKIP, the only mention of the ERG was much later.

            Remember that the ERG’s (never mind the rest of the party) agenda is being driven by UKIPs populist agenda, few in the ERG talked about legal migrants before UKIP scapegoat them for example. Have you forgotten how UKIPers kept boasting that it was UKIP ‘who don it’, it was UKIP ‘who won it’, it was UKIP ‘who caused it’, whilst apparently taking votes from the Conservatives?

            [1] remember that the term far, even extreme, is relative to ones own position, that is why some otherwise quite moderate contributors on this site accuse Corbyn of being a Marxist, if @TiC is to the left of Ken Clarke even I might be described by him as being on the ‘far right’ given my wish for a WTO exit when actually I am more akin to a Eurosceptic version of Ken!…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            What TiC said isn’t relevant, because I was responding to your claim to Dominic that ” no one has ever claimed that the ERG are of the extreme right”
            Which is factually incorrect.
            Which is why I replied to you pointing this out and giving just one of many examples there are of people on here and outside this arena saying just that.

          • jerry
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            @Edwasrd2; because I was responding to your claim to Dominic that ” no one has ever claimed that the ERG are of the extreme right”

            Nice attempt to twist Eddie but now please point out were TiC said “National Socialism”, the only person who used such wording was @Domanic’. He was factually incorrect for doing so., thanks for (finally) agreeing with me!

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          jerry, Dominic was responding to ‘Tory in Cumbria’ who typed “May gave huge concessions to the small cabal of hard-line Leavers on her far right”

          Your strawman that ‘no one has ever suggested …extreme right’ is incorrect TiC said “far right”. I agree with Dominic this sort of language:

          “fanatics of the ERG”
          “cabal of hard-line Leavers on her far right”
          “extreme no deal version”

          is used by so many people including media opinion tellers on a daily basis they are no longer newsreaders. Always exaggerating other peoples stand point and using language like fanatics, far right, extreme unnecessarily exaggerate matters.

          • jerry
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:36 am | Permalink

            @a-tracy; But TiC did not say “in the Tory party”. What about UKIP and their scapegoats, their populist claptrap that the Tory party has had to respond to for the last 15 to 20 years, yes the Tory party has moved to the right but not as far to the right as UKIP, even whilst under the control of Farage, why did he have to ban ex members of the BNP if there wasn’t a problem in UKIP – and remember that ban was only for paid up members, not those who simply supported the party from afar.

            The use of the words “far right” and “the ERG” were in separate sentences, several words apart, not in the same sentence as you are trying to imply. It is you who is trying to find a strawman, not me. Try actually reading what people say, not reply to what you think someone said. Are you seriously suggesting that UKIP had zero impact on politics?!

        • miami.mode
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          jerry, TiC referred to the far right. Please explain your interpretation of the difference between far and extreme in a political context.

          • jerry
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

            TiC did not use the words “National Socialists”

        • NickC
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, Nonsense. The clearly defined Leave/Remain divide cuts cleanly across the poorly defined Right/Left divide. Leave means we must be out of the EU. So attempting to portray being outside the EU as an extremist position is typical knee-jerk Remain propaganda. And nasty with it.

          • jerry
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            NickC; “an extremist position is typical knee-jerk Remain propaganda.”

            As is the term “Remainiacts” when describing Remain advocates, your point thus being what?

      • ian wragg
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        National SOCIALISTS were not far right, the clue is in the word socialist.

        • jerry
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          @Ian Wragg, Stop washing your total ignorance in public!

          When has fascism ever been left wing, why would Hitler have banned Trade unions and replaced it with his own brand of “National Socialism” if it Nazism was left wing – stop being blind to 1930s propaganda.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          oh… Socialist as in those socialists who sent their children to private fee paying schools instead of the local comprehensive….right! got it!

      • Al
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        “I believe it should be a criminal offence to describe without evidence someone as ‘far right’, ‘extremist’ or a ‘Nazi’…”

        I’ve seen this being used more and more often as an easy slur and claimed without evidence most of the time – for example the Brexit Party was called ‘far right’ before they had any actual policies. I honestly never thought I’d see Godwin’s Law being used outside internet forums…

        • jerry
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          @Al; Funny how the right hate being on the receiving end of political bother-boot but just love to put the boot in themselves, calling their opportunist far left, extreme left even Marxists etc. They also talk of a Corbyn govt being a “Northern Venezuela”. Double standards?…

          If you don’t want people using unwelcome comparisons against your own political position then do not use them against your opponents.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            Look everyone lets all of us just accept Jerry is right and let him run this site.

          • jerry
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

            Our host runs this site Eddie, he has the delete key not you [1], he allows people to have an opinion -unlike you it seems, were in your mind nothing other than (what Mr Lifelogic might say) “Edward2 Think” should be allowed.

            [1] whose knees jerk as soon as someone writes the ‘wrong’ word

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

            Had you just accepted your original post claiming ” no one has ever suggested the ERG are extreme right” was plainly wrong then you would have saved yourself a lot of typing jezza.

          • jerry
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Thanks for proving my point, only Edward2 Think can be allowed…

            You and others need to start read what was actually said, how it was said, not reply to what you think was said, heck Dominic even though TiC had said “National Socialists”.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            I just pointed out you were factually incorrect when you actually said ” no one has ever claimed the ERG are of the extreme right”
            There are many examples of people on here and outside this arena saying just that.
            Simple as that
            It is a matter of fact, not opinion.

          • jerry
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            No Eddie you were just trying to troll me, as is usual when your knees jerk, as you have now admitted (in another comment), the only person being factually incorrect was @Domanic.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      Not mean spirited enough, May was an appalling PM and an appalling person. One who has nearly destroyed her party and may well have given us Corbyn/SNP and a trip to Venezuela II without the sun or the oil.

      • James1
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Let’s face it, Mrs May was a complete and utter disaster. Most politicians who are perceived as successful would probably admit to receiving a little luck along the way. Mrs May had no luck in her premiership. She didn’t deserve any. She defended incompetence and tried to sign us up to vassalage with a foreign entity. We are well rid of her damnable presence.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

      TIC- Mrs May is the living embodiment of the “Peter Principle” she was out of her depth even at the Home Office. A well liked constuency MP but not up to the job of running the Country

      • jerry
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        @Know-Dice; Unfortunately the Tory party has made a habit of electing such leaders since the mid 1960s! 😮

        • JoolsB
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          You mean with the exception of Mrs. T of course!

          • jerry
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


      • Fred H
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Know-dice… going to church and visiting local shops buys you admiration?
        It seems the low profile history that was thought to be a safe pair of hands turned out to be a disaster.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Not exactly Fred, talking to her actual consituents show her to be “well liked” and with 20,000+ majority somebody liked her enough in 2017

          • jerry
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:48 am | Permalink

            @Know-Dice; “and with 20,000+ majority somebody liked her enough in 2017″

            I’ll have to remember that line when people on this site criticise Mr Corbyn, after all he gained a majority of 33,000+ in 2017 [1], and is also a “well liked” local person.

            Could it be more to do with the local electorate, and location of constituency, not many stockbrokers in Islington, not many inner-city tenants in Maidenhead…

            [1] a larger majority than out host gained

    • Amanda
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      I disagree with you view. John Redwood’s post is factual and fair, whilst your post is agressive and your points demonstrable incorrect.

    • Zorro
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Free Movement! Who needs that when, as they have done since two weeks ago, they have removed the need for ANY foreign national to complete a landing card. So absolutely no record of entry/exit anymore. No e-visa type control either, a complete abdication of border control/management!


    • steadyeddie
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree. It is the ERG who have been responsible for the poor Conservative electoral performance.

      • Nicky Roberts
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Goodness what an idiotic statement. I suppose the support of the Brexit party can be explained away by people wanting to actually remain in the EU even when we are out. Do some proper research before you make an utter fool of yourself like this.

    • Woody
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      I presume by concessions by the ERG you mean they should have accepted that we remain in the eu without any powers. That is what her so called withdrawal agreement meant. She did not rule out a customs union, she did not not stop freedom of movement but she most certainly did try to hide the so called irish border issue … she tried to cover up the fact that there is no practical irish border problem, as has been pointed out many times there is no border problem in ireland at the moment despite differing currencies and tax regimes. Put simply she lied ..” we WILL leave on 31 March”, “no deal is better than a Bad Deal.”…. although to be fair her response to the latter statement was to redefine what a bad deal looked like and she stumbled blindly on with the dogmatic opinion that as her WA was the ONLY agreement SHE could get with the eu then it could not be a bad deal.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Mrs May showed two things. First that no-one should put themselves forward for a position of high responsibility if they are clearly unsuited by character to the role. And second that there are arguments for leaving the EU, and arguments for remaining in it. But no good arguments at all for leaving but remaining so much in hoc to the EU that it isn’t possible to take advantage of leaving. Her Brino proposal bore no relation to the case made for Brexit by Leave, or even her to own intended strategy laid out eg in her Lancaster House speech.

    • Nigl
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      So the masses of people who voted for the Brexit party which only had one policy, namely No Deal, are a small cabal of extreme right wingers. She herself in the early days explicitly said No Deal was a possibility.

      What utter one eyed tosh.

      Read the Tory manifesto, read what we were told in the pre referendum propaganda. Read her many statements and match against the reality, read the analysis of the WDA on this website, by Martin Howes, Briefings for Brexit etc and then go back to the WDA.

      Irrefutably she was selling us out. If she was intent on getting us out as you say why did she not seek a Free Trade Agreement from day 1? Why did she agree a role for the ECJ when she explicitly said there would not be one. Why did the WDA say that one side couldn’t unilaterally pull out of the next round of negotiation, potentially locking us in for ever etc?

      Please Tory in Cumbria, your epithet about extreme right wingers says more about you than them.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      That was mean spirited? You don’t get it do you? Sir John was kind in his cool description of the fact that she was dismissive, rude, miscalculating, trusting idiots in the face of wise counsel, and finally LYING. A PM should not survive given all that, and it was to continue until the respect for UK in EU, probably the world, became a pantomime, and the Conservative party reduced to an also ran in national elections. Her time has been a horror story.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Exactly plus she was/is a tax to death, PC, big government know best, red tape spewing, identity politics pushing socialist.

        This on top of all her Brexit failures. Robotic and without any electoral appeal either.

    • David Price
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      May gave every concession to the EU and remainers while systematically reneging on commitments and ignoring the interests of the majority who voted democratically to leave.

      I feel our host was being unnecessarily generous in using the word “leader” in the title, May has never demonstrated an aptitude or willingness to lead, only dictate and deceive.

    • Duyfken
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      As of “Conservative” outlook, I nevertheless left voting Tory from the time of Jimmy Goldsmith’s Referendum Party. But then in 2017, May and the Tory Party promised to effect Brexit in accordance with the referendum result, so I was duped into voting Tory – this in spite of a reluctant local MP being a remainer. Neither he nor the Conservative Party as a whole has fulfilled the promise; indeed they have gone out of their way to defeat Brexit.

      The betrayal is complete, and of course I will not again trust the Tories (barring some but few individuals).

      The comments by “Tory in Cumbria” I treat with derision.

      Betrayal: that is Mrs May’s legacy.

      • jerry
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

        @Duyfken; “the Tory Party promised to effect Brexit in accordance with the referendum result, so I was duped into voting Tory”

        So you blame Mrs May for you not understanding what was being asked on the ballot paper in 2016?! No doubt you also blame migrants for the housing shortage even though the real problem is not enough houses being built, blame migrants for ‘taking all the jobs’ when there are still many British born people unemployed or under-employed…. Typical UKIPer, ‘Let’s find a scapegoat, it’s not my fault’. 🙁

    • jerry
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      @TiC; “Mrs May gave huge concessions to the small cabal of hard-line Leavers on her far right – she ruled out a customs union, stopped free movement of people and did all she could to keep the Irish border invisible.”

      Well if she did she failed, the WA in effect keeps us in a CU, whilst the Irish border is more visible now than it has ever been since 1923! As for free movement, little will change simply because of our reliance (due to political correctness within education) on migrant workers, whether they come from the EU or RotW is irrelevant.

      “who demanded an extreme no deal version which was never on the ballot in 2016 and which was never supported by millions of leave voters nor by many leave-voting Tory MPs.”

      No options were on the ballot, Remain or Leave.

      “[by those] who will never take a realsitic view of our need to do deals with our closest and biggest trading partner, the EU.”

      The RotW is our largest trading partner, not the EU27.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      No, there wasn’t much on the ballot paper.
      ”Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

      Good, clear, unambiguous, unqualified stuff. Not a mention of trade deals. Yet voted for by a majority who had read all the Government information and knew EXACTLY what leaving should mean….
      They understood the word ”Leave” perhaps?

      • jerry
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

        @L Jones; I bet most people never read the government leaflet, but I bet most did hear Boris, Gove, Farage, et al for Leave, and Benn, Grieve, Umunna, MacShane et al for Reamin on TV, radio and read about their views in their newspapers or websites.

        There was no single opinion as to what Leave would mean nor what Remain would mean, everything from a WTO exit to Flexcit was debated by those wanting a Leave result, everything from the reforming the EU from within to a fulling the current EU ideals of a full federated EU28+ was debated for those wanting a Remain result.

        The only reason so many on this site read that government leaflet was to find fault with it, not to try and make ones mind up as to which way to vote!

        • Edward2
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          What an odd opinion Jerry.
          A leaflet sent to every single home in the nation.
          Yet without any data you claim most people never read it.
          But a few speeches by some others , you then tell us , again without any data to support your view, that voters were impressed by these speeches and voted the way they did as a result.
          Then you say the only reason so many in this site read the leaflet was to find fault with it.
          Again without any data to back up your views.
          Are you just guessing Jerry or do you have some actual facts or data to back up this ?

          • jerry
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            @Edward2′ “Are you just guessing Jerry or do you have some actual facts or data to back up this ?”

            Mr Pot, meet Mr Kettle….

            I’m using something you seem to lack, logical thought, considering that Leave won… If the referendum was decided by that govt leaflet then surely Remain would have won, were did the electorate get their contrary information from?!

            Stop trolling, stop wasting our hosts time.

    • TheMariner
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      I could not disagree with you more regarding the ERG. They are the only ones who truly are for what I and the rest of the 17.4 million voted for. They are democracy. I don’t know which referendum ballot paper you completed but mine was straight forward enough. LEAVE or REMAIN. There was no mention about LEAVE WITH A DEAL !! If anything, Sir John’s comments haven’t been harsh enough regarding this PM. Her decision making, reading of situations and public performance against a near unelectable labour party has be awful. She gets no credit from me

    • Andy
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      What a silly comment. You simply do not understand WHAT the European Union actually is. If you stay in the Customs Union (this fiction of ‘a’ CU is nonsense) you have remained in the EU, which is what you want of course.

      • jerry
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

        But Andy, Norway is not a member of the EU, but Norway is in ‘a’ CU with it, as are Switzerland, Monaco and Andorra! It is you Andy who doesn’t appear to understands what the EU is and is not…

        • Andy
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          Jerry, Would help if you stopped inventing facts. Neither Norway nor Switzerland are in ‘a’ or ‘the’ Customs Union with the EU. Andorra, San Marino and Turkey are in a partial CU, but in the case of Turkey this is unsustainable. Monaco has a customs union with France predating the EU CU.

          • jerry
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

            Andy, you appear clueless as to what a CU is! Those countries are in ‘a’ CU with the EU, just not the same CU as the current EU28.

            The European Union might not wish to call such ‘external’ arrangements ‘a Customs Union’ but that is utterly irrelevant to the real world realities under GATT article 24.

    • Mike Ferro
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Nobody ever seems to realize, or at least to point out, that the EU is our biggest trading partner precisely BECAUSE its protectionist tariffs make trade for us outside the EU more difficult than it would otherwise be.
      Free up our trade arrangements with the world outside the EU and then watch how our trade with the EU will diminish as a proportion of our total trade

      • Fred H
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink


      • jerry
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        @Mike Ferro; “the EU is our biggest trading partner precisely BECAUSE its protectionist tariffs”

        Indeed, and not just tariffs, the blatant blacklisting of products. US chicken washed in Chlorine is oh so bad, but EU27 fruit and veg washed in Chlorine is OK…

    • Peter George
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      You are another deluded remainer who refuses to accept the referendum result. It was leave or stay, a binary choice which leave won. I imagine if remain won you would not countenance 3yrs of constant moaning about how remain needs to change as that’s not what people voted for, and that renogiating our terms of staying in needs to addressed for those that wanted to leave.

      • jerry
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

        @Peter George; Leaves means Leave, yes, but what does Leave mean, WTO, Flexcit or something between, all were even debated on this very site in the run up to the referendum…

        You are another ‘deluded’ Brexiteer who refuses to accept the referendum result, never mind unders5tand what the question actually meant.

    • mickc
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      You are Rory Stuart…and I claim my £10!

    • Helen Smith
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      She might have said she ruled out a CU, in reality her WA paved the way to one.

      How can you not understand that the ERG represented the winning side in the referendum? It was never a question of appeasing them, they won!

      As for Sir John being ‘mean spirited’ he has over the past 2-3 years done his utmost not to run down a woman who has damn near destroyed his party and the country.

    • Grahame Ash
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      To Tory in Cumbria – In your criticism of John’s assessment of Mrs May me-thinks you have been listening too much to your MP, Rory Stewart.
      Mr Stewart is a leading supporter of Theresa May’s unpopular deal on Brexit. All I can say to promote his claim to be the next Tory Leader is that it would be an added bonus for TBP

    • NickC
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Tory in Cumbria, You claim that Theresa May “ruled out a customs union”.

      Yet her draft Withdrawal Agreement stipulates (Art6): “Until the future relationship becomes applicable, a single customs territory between the Union and the United Kingdom shall be established (“the single customs territory”)“.

      How is that ruling out a customs union?

    • Nicky Roberts
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      The ERG are not extremists, far from it, they are the only section of the Conservative party who have stood by the result of the referendum and insisted that the Government must honour the choice the British public made. You, like the dreadful Theresa May wanted to pretend we were leaving when she nor the EU had any intention of letting us actually leave. The WA would have bound us into a vassal state. That is what she wanted, our complete surrender to these enemies of the UK, and you seem to want that too.

  2. Pominoz
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    May’s actions during her whole time as PM are not understandable if viewed from the perspective of someone who is expecting their leader to deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum. However, if the plan was to deceive, and only surround herself by those of a similar mind, then everything she did becomes quite clear. We are now left with a situation where it is a case of ‘Don’t mention the war!’

    Whether we accept it or not, we are actually at war. Not the traditional one with bombs and guns, nor the more subtle tones of ‘the cold war’, but war nevertheless, although it has not been officially declared.

    The EU remains determined to win this war and see the UK as the vanquished. For them, nothing less will do. The EU negotiators have fought well and hard, understandably, for the benefit of the EU. The UK’s ‘war effort’ has been undermined over the past three years by the deeply embedded treacherous, British born, EU agents who have been actively working, even at the highest levels, to vandalise all attempts to regain our sovereignty. The absolute infiltration of our Parliament, our Civil Service, our Institutions, our Quangos and our Mainstream Media with latter-day Burgesses cannot be underestimated. Their determination to deny democracy to those ‘who are too stupid to understand’ and to lead our Nation into a future of subservience to the unelected in Brussels must be thwarted. What is more, those responsible must face the consequences of their actions.

    During the 1950s and later, Burgess, Maclean and the others of the ‘Cambridge Five’ were, quite rightly, regarded as traitors, although Britain was not officially at war at the time. Why, now, should the law ignore the, perhaps equally significant, acts of treason of a multitude of influential figures who continue to have anything but the UK’s interests to the fore?

    The priority is, of course, for the new PM to ensure the UK leaves the EU cleanly, promptly and completely. However, when this has been achieved, I would expect those who have worked to sabotage efforts to deliver an independent, free and sovereign United Kingdom to face the full force of the law.

    Nothing less would be acceptable.

    • J Bush
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      I totally agree and suspect we are not alone with this assessment.

      • Chris
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Hear, hear.

    • Dominic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear

    • agricola
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree, but knowing the payola system, May will put them all forward for Ks on resigning. Who will have the temerity to black ball them. Democracy in the UK hangs on the decisions of the next few weeks.

    • David Price
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Completely agree.

    • GilesB
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      I agree.

      I don’t think we should wait thirty years for disclosure of who drove the discussions to deceive the public and Parliament.

      Perhaps part of a drive by a new Prime Minister to bring the country together should include a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to surface the deceits and deceptions.

      Not to punish (although that could well be warranted) but to better inform the debate going forward on both our relationship with the EU and our constitutional arrangements.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Ask for the information under the Freedom of Information act. You may need to pay £10 but I am sure you could set up a peer funding account. That chap who wanted to sue Boris Johnson for misbehaviour in public office didn’t spend all his donations.

    • Timaction
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Agree. Trust cannot be regained until we know the full extent of the treacherous behaviour of those within Government, Civil Service, Government offices acting against the National interest in favour of the EU! May, Robbins, the Kitkat crew need investigation and prosecution. Until then I’m surprised if the Tory’s will get a 9% vote. How stupid to believe a word they say?

    • Shirley
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Start the prosecutions, with May in the front line followed by Grieve, Adonis, Cooper, etc. Undermining democracy is sufficient cause, surely?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Absolutely spot on.
      JR’s assessment was incredibly, amazingly forgiving.
      Let’s not forget x 108!!!

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      This will be the best post of the day Pominoz. Well said.

    • old salt
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Excellent, couldn’t agree more in every respect.

    • TheMariner
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Your assessment feels correct. Well said

    • MG
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Totally agree, well said.

    • Peter George
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      You are correct in your assessment of the traitors that operate within our establishment, if we had the same during the war we would now be speaking German as part of their empire instead of the EU empire, although there are similarities.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Like everyone else I agree with your assessment 100%. We have to refer to the EU as our friends and partners but they are nothing of the sort and never have been. And in another time the likes of Dominic Grieve, Alistair Campbell and Vince Cable would have been locked up.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Helen…I agree, but Mr Grieve deserves it, Mr Campbell should be afforded sympathy for his condition, and Mr Cable deserves a nudge, nudge, wink and a knowing smile.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink


      “The EU remains determined to win this war and see the UK as the vanquished. For them, nothing less will do”

      Is that why you have left for ‘fresh fields and pastures new’ and left others to fight the good fight?

      • Pominoz
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:47 pm | Permalink


        I have posted in the past that my concern of the direction of the EU leading to the theft of UK sovereignty was one of the reasons I came to Australia many years ago. I also fully expect the EU to implode in the not too distant future, which is why the UK should be well distanced by the time it occurs.

        I was just eligible to vote (15 years away maximum) in the referendum and my wife and I made our views known. Our wishes now just need to be delivered and I will try to continue to fight for justice in whatever way I can.

        Despite the distance, it is heartbreaking to see what was once a proud and respected nation being trashed on the world stage by an incompetent government. Australia is an excellent example of what can be achieved by a range of trade policies with other open trading nations, all free to choose a path best for them and not directed by an unelected elite whose motives appear based on personal ambition and personal benefit.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    She was the most inept PM imaginable. It is an open question whether the party of which she was leader will survive the experience as a serious, dominant force in British politics.

  4. Peter Wood
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Mrs May is STILL the PM (she didn’t even resign correctly!); question: how much more damage can she do before leaving No. 10, while we await the conclusion of the Parliamentary Tory Party to complete its farce?

    • Peter
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      Indeed. May is still in place and apparently planning to waste vast sums of public money in the vain hope of securing a ‘legacy’ for herself.

      A new Prime Minister might not be enough to prevent the demise of the Conservative Party.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        Indeed a new PM will have great difficulty rescuing the party from May and Hammond’s wanton destruction of it.

        • Charles Crane
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          The one saving grace is that Hammond has not thrown his hat in the ring

          • Nicky Roberts
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

            I think he knows the game is up. He’d be stupid not to… but then…

  5. Bob Dixon
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    There appears to be only one candidate who has a plan.
    Esther McVay.
    She will not survive today.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately true Bob

      Too honest and not “pandering ” to the Remainer cabal of the Conservative party

  6. Mark B
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    She was the wrong person, in the wrong position, at the wrong time. In many articles I have read, the majority clearly state that she was not a fit for the role of PM.

    I will say one thing. She stayed, and still is, in place long after many of her predecessors would have been booted out. This tells me she had considerable support and powerful backers. Think about that?

    CMD Won the 2015 GE with a simple promise of a referendum on the EU. It also helped that many were concerned about Red Ed and the SNP. It showed that the nation was deeply unhappy with our membership of the EU. And we still are.

    We are nearly 3 years from that glorious day and should by now be an independent sovereign nation. The very fact we are not is entirely the fault of the parliamentary conservative party and only a full BREXIT will save you.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      Cameron only just won a small overall Majority in 2015 because UKIP voters came back to the Conservatives due to his referendum promise. How on earth will the next leader win an election with Brexit so strong unless some Brexit deal is done?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Cameron realised he would not win unless he took the Ref. decision. And only then because he thought the electorate would meekly accept his guidance and the EU would understand he needed some ‘wins’ to bring back. The rest is history – the people didn’t want to listen to the posh-boy, and the EU didn’t think we would fight all the way.

    • Richard Evans
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Mark B……powerful backers – absolutely – right from the top and from outside and they are still there and will once again ENSURE there is not a BREXIT PM.
      (I named these individuals and institutions in a previous comment but captcha decided they did not like it. Free speech?????) However I must say none of the candidates for office of PM inspire me. It is said that Boris is the front runner but he is not to be trusted, he used to be a Remainer, remember. Also,beware of Sajiv David the sleeper cell. Unfortunately we shall have to wait for a GE and hope that the fickle people WAKE UP. WE just want OUT all else will follow.

  7. /IKH
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink


    Mrs May lost the 2017 GE because she pulled out a new policy in the middle of a election campaign that had not even been through cabinet. Let along been discussed by the Party.

    She has always been a person that likes to work on her own or with a very small group of advisers and she pulls policies out of a hat like a magician does a rabbit.

    I have made the mistake of thinking She had some convictions like she would stick to ‘Out of the Single Market, out of the Customs Union & out of the ECJ’ and leave on the 29 March 2019. Sadly I was proved wrong.

    I will not be sorry to see her go.


    • Charles Crane
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      You don’t win elections by hiding under the desk at number 10 and then refusing to attend a debate and sending a deputy. If you’re not appearing, then don;t allow a proxy to represent you – especially a hard remainder like Rudd.

      At least Rudd isn’t trying for the leadership. Grateful for small mercies.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Was anyone, anywhere sorry to see her go?

    • Jack Leaver
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      It was a blessing in disguise that Mrs May screwed up the 2017 GE If she had won an increased Conservative majority, she would have probably been able to force through her WA surrender treaty.

      • Nicky Roberts
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, we were very lucky there. We would now be signed up indefinitely to the crumbling EU.

  8. DaveM
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    She was somehow installed through the duplicity of Gove and the all-out media campaign against Leadsom because of a silly comment.

    She lied and delayed repeatedly in order to gain time enough for Merkel and Juncker to write a treaty she thought she could fool us with. She did everything she could to ensure her masters in the CBI were appeased. She walked around Brussels humiliating our country and allowed herself to be laughed at whilst snubbing the US president. She allowed servicemen to be prosecuted whilst turning a blind eye to returning jihadists.

    In her short tenure she may have caused irreparable damage to our country. There may be a worse PM one day but it’s difficult to see how. Good riddance.

    • Timaction
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      +1. I started to add a long list to yours and found it depressing. So I just agree that she is the worst Prime Minister……………ever!

    • L Jones
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Yes. If you were being kind, you could say she has been the EU’s useful idiot.
      But she isn’t an idiot. THAT’s the worrying thing about her.

    • NickC
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      DaveM, I agree with your assessment of the execrable Theresa May. However Andrea Leadsom’s comment about how being a parent gave her more of a stake in the future was simply factually correct. Unless the person in question was a sociopath of course.

    • Nicky Roberts
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      I agree with everything you say Dave. The damage this dreadful woman has done is incalculable.

  9. Dominic
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    She heartily and enthusiastically embraced a most pernicious form of minority rights driven social engineering agenda exposing us all to a form of politics that is deeply sinister and very disturbing.

    Such dramatic social policies are viciously anti-Tory and provide ample evidence of a politician desperate to pander to the forces of the liberal left that have now sadly infected the entire British state

    It was Jonathan Powell who wanted to use race the ‘rub the Tories nose in diversity’. Well, May went even further than Blair and Powell. She buried us in it

    I believe the British people are social conservatives and yet we are fed of daily diet of policies that are in direct contravention of the general mood of the nation

    Her’s and Cameron’s refusal to rein in the BBC is now having destructive consequences as we are constantly bombarded with their progressive trash, anti-Trump smear campaign using the tedious far-right slander statements

    I want the new PM to be utterly brutal in their policies. No more pandering to the left. No more pandering to the BBC. No more protecting Corbyn and his Marxist thugs from being exposed.

    There is a majority in the UK outside the rancid dump that is London who do not share the BBC’s hatreds and resentments.

    Time to get this nation out of the EU and then start on the BBC and other left-wing organisations who abuse the taxpayer to propagate their poison

    • Fred H
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Dominic….brilliant. We do indeed have ‘a form of politics that is deeply sinister and very disturbing’.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Excellent post. I’d add a couple more lines to your final paragraph though:

      Replace members of the Electoral Commission.
      Drain the swamp which is the HoL.
      Cut Foreign Aid dramatically.
      Enforce our laws properly without exception.
      Produce genuine representation for England in or out of the HoC.

    • Dan Rushworth
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Obviously Mrs McV for PM

    • Spratt
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      There are also many of us in London who do not share the BBC , Channel 4 which seems to be getting more out-of-touch and sanctimoniously prescriptive by the day. We are even are force-fed an excessive diet of women’s sport just because Auntie BBC has decided that we OUGHT to be interested (despite the virtually empty stadia providing ample evidence that most people aren’t ).

    • forthurst
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      How can May’s policies be anti-Tory when the aforesaid party does not have an ethos? The Tory party is a seriously infested with English-haters as those purportedly to the left. Any party that advocates for third world immigration for any reason whatsoever is manifesting English-hatred.

    • Chris
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Excellent, Dominic. Actually, we need a Donald Trump in charge here.

    • M Davis
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Spot on, as usual, Dominic!

  10. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    I’m still chuckling watching the slow motion car crash that the Tory Party has become. Tory MPs will not allow Boris to be in the final two and someone worse than May will be the next PM. You have to smile at the detachment from reality apparent in Westminster. Corbyn is playing his hand very well.

    • Charles Crane
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      But then again, Labour are trying to ditch Corbyn.

      I see Chukka has joined the Lib Dems. Maybe he’s eying up his chances of standing to replace Cable. Remember – you heard it here first!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      If the party elect anyone but Boris the party will die it might well anyway. It surely cannot win the next election unless it become a real Brexit Conservative Party and does a deal with the Brexit party. Cameron only just won when the UKIP vote collapsed and he promised a referendum. What change have the Tories got now against Brexit, Labour and Libdims?

    • NickC
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson, I don’t detect much difference between Labour and Tory MPs over most policy areas. Certainly not over the people’s decision to escape from under the EU jackboot. The detachment from reality is indeed Westminster wide.

  11. J Bush
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    I agree why May thought her treaty tying the UK into servitude to the EU would get through Parliament and the people of this country would quietly accepting it defies logic. Was she going to use that wee addition slyly added at a footnote in Lisbon. The one which refers to ‘use whatever force necessary to quell civil unrest’?

    I understand this EU election will not only cost the taxpayer £1m, but also a further £18b May has agreed to give to the EU.

    Then of course her latest bit of insanity is the %emissions by 2050 bill.

    I can come to no other conclusion she is either is stark raving bonkers or an outright traitor.

    I can see no redeeming qualities in her and prefer she left No 10 last Friday and out of Parliament.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Exactly right.

    She threw the election in 2017 with an idiotic “vote for us and we will kick you in the teeth” manifesto. She is a red tape spewing, anti-democratic socialist too, a robotic, repetitive, wrong headed & tedious speaker, a totally incompetent negotiator (who was as you say she was always willing to trim for the EU but was never willing to trim for the Leave voting majority in the country or for the MPs who sought to represent them).

    On top of all her very many failing she retained a tax to death incompetent EUphile Chancellor, pushed idiotic identity politics and gender pay gap lunacy, allowed Hammond to undermine the EU negotiations and to inflict the highest taxes for 70 years on to the nation (while continuing to borrow even more while delivering generally appalling and declining public services). Plus she even pushes idiotic prices and income controls, yet more employment laws and misguided green crap.

    What did she do that was actually positive? Opt out organ donation is about the only thing I approve of and even that has not yet started. Oh and resigning at long last.

    • Zorro
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Right down to her Frida Kahlo bracelet!


    • David Price
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      She hasn’t resigned yet

    • agricola
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Quite right LL, she was a virus introduced for the destruction of conservatism from within. It must have been judged impossible to do it under any other political banner so within was the only way. As someone has already alluded, it is akin to the Cambridge Five and their attempt to destroy the UK.

  13. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Interesting analysis with some good points.

    The question is will it therefore also bring us more freedom or will it just bring us more financial problems as forecasted by the BoE?

    • NickC
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Hans, Were those the same BoE forecasts used by Osborne and the Treasury to “forecast” that we would be mired in recession immediately after a vote to Leave?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Nick C

        No, they were not, thank you for bringing to our attention

  14. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Mrs May, a person who simply gained a political position well above her abilities, and who used duplicitous means (with others) to try and keep herself in that position.

    Her failure to fully understand the basic human nature of some of her own politicians, and the General Public in particular, meant her tenure in the highest position would always be very limited.

    Had she remained in position until the next election, the Conservative Party would have suffered a complete and utter wipe out, as it is she may have caused it irreparable damage, no matter who becomes the next leader.

    Quite simply the worst Prime Minister in my lifetime.

  15. APL
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    JR: “reuniting Eurosceptics from UKIP with Conservatives under a banner of delivering our exit from the EU in a timely and positive way. ”

    Question is, when did Mrs May start lying?

    • Fred H
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      When she stated ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and under her breath she said ‘but you ain’t going to get it’

  16. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    There is far more at stake than the future of the Tory party…

    Remainers will continue to fight hard because they know if they don’t get one of their kind in as leader, meaning we will never leave the EU – they will be purged one way or another.

    Voters will not support remainer MP’s, nor will constituency parties, so their future is in the balance – They cannot be allowed to impose their EU style future up on us.

  17. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    We cannot expect remainer MP’s to give any ground, but it must be forced upon them.

    May has nothing to be proud of, at all – in fact her legacy is one that could destroy her party forever, but one bright note. Now a lot more people understand that too many politicians are in it for their own benefit, and that voters get a raw deal, whoever is voted in. If We do leave cleanly then this should herald a clean-out, a refresh, and a brand new start, because the old political contract, between voters and the reigning class, is surely broken.

  18. formula57
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    As is said, the one thing any leader needs is followers and in T. May’s case she exhausted her supply of them, caused through her own maladroit actions. An unenviable record of failure.

  19. David Maples
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I’ll wager £5.00 you’ve never once taken drugs Sir John.

    Why did Mrs May think she could the WA through the Commons? Because she thought she was ‘making them an offer they couldn’t refuse’! The apparatchiks in Downing Street convinced her pliable intellect, that with only a few months between Chequers and March 29, the class of 2017 had nowhere else to go.

  20. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The comments above plus your text Sir John do not paint a picture of a politician in charge of their brief, just one of sheer determination and bloody mindedness.

    From the outside it appears that she tried to appease all factions all the time, without realising that giving in on one issue would never be enough for the people she was dealing with.

    Europhiles wanted to stay in and won’t accept anything less, EUsceptics want to be out and can’t see why cooperation thereafter is not possible. The two sides can not be reconciled so she needed to go all in one way or the other.

    Similarly with the social care issue she felt the need to give some ground to both sides. Fudge and poor policy.

    The bloody difficult woman could not wield an axe.

  21. GilesB
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I have always assumed that May called the 2017 election in order to have Brexit in the manifesto. Without that, and reliance on the Salisbury Convention, the House of Lords would surely have blocked any form of Brexit.

    But perhaps it was just to have a larger majority in the Commons making it easier to ignore dissenters on the backbench (mentioning no names).

    Of course, that she then ran a totally disastrous campaign is beyond dispute.

  22. JoolsB
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    And if the parliamentary party are stupid and deluded enough, which they obviously are, to give us remainers in the final two and that includes Gove, then that 9.1% will go down to zero. Conservative party r.i.p.

    • NickC
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Gove and Hunt it is then.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    The only verdict you can have on a political leader that has brought her party to the brink of oblivion is abject failure.

  24. Fred H
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Sir John ….your comment ‘The PM who was always willing to trim for the EU’ encapulates the story (farce, 5th column – what is it?) when the country voted for the opposite. It remains deeply disturbing that she managed to damage the country, the party and the status of the greatist so-called demoracy in the world. Was that the plan all along?

    • Fred H
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      oops .democracy…..keyb or my stubby fingers!

  25. Fed up with the bull
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I only voted Conservative last time because Mrs May promised to deliver Brexit. Not the WA but a proper Brexit. No single market, no customs union, no deal is better than a bad deal (what was her WA if not a bad deal when she couldn’t get it through parliament?) and Brexit means Brexit. What a joke, except it isn’t funny. We still have MP’s who will do everything they can to stop Brexit and continue to pile pressure on businesses who don’t know whether they are coming or going. What a mess she has left and yes, I do think she has been one of the worst, if not the worst, PM we have ever had. We have been deceived but not again.

  26. libertarian
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Mrs May has been the worst PM this country has ever had

    One fiasco after another

    Mr Hammond has been the worst Chancellor we’ve ever had , one fiasco and U turn after another

  27. Nicky Roberts
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John, the fact that Theresa May could not add up support or lack of support from her own government shows someone totally lacking in basic skills and the delight you mention every time she engineered an attack on the Leavers proves what a dreadful person she is. I will never forget the look on her face when the first WA bill failed. She looked ready to commit a violent act. In my opinion she has no redeeming features and this country is extremely lucky that she lost her majority in the last election, otherwise we would have surrendered to the EU now and been that outpost of a district council so loved by Clarke and Heseltine.

  28. Dominic
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Putting the interests of Iran before the safety of the British people.

    What have our political leaders become that they should have allowed this to happen?

    Who needs external enemies wishing to do us harm when we have them directly at heart of the British state?

    This country is cesspit ruled by vipers

    • Fred H
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Dominic….it may seem theatrical BUT I think your point has some truth. It is clear we have been infiltrated by people who have been selected to become pawns once reaching influential positions. Looking at the so-called Labour party it can be seen openly, but turning to the Conservatives there has been a gradual shift in the opinions and activities of the local members right through to MPs. Brexit has thrown light on what had been well hidden previously. Farage is the new St. George – and might slay the dragon.

  29. JoolsB
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    With so few true Conservatives in the parliamentary party, there’s a small part of me that wants them to choose Hunt or Gove or anyone but Boris or Raab so it will make it much easier for me to vote for the Brexit party. I’m beginning to think the only one person who can deliver a true Brexit is Farage. I also think he would make a great PM and someone who would always put this country’s interests at heart. You can’t say that about many of the 650 self serving career MPs in parliament today.

  30. Mark B
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Good morning-again

    It does not matter who gets it, their first job will be to try the two faction in your party and the DUP. Plus you now have the BP breathing down your necks.

    A thankless task.

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Heartily agree with all anti May posts.
    Utterly beyond belief that she lasted so long ( still officially PM until new one can prove support!! What???? Is that true??)
    I always thought that the Tories dispensed v quickly with a leader who brought the party into disrepute.
    On reflection since the war it has prob always been about EU ( and Common Market and all its other aka s).
    Look at the effect of Thatcher’s Bruges speech. I bet all that disgusting lefty hatred after her death was largely driven by that.
    Bow down to the EU or face the consequences! Support it and you can do as you darn well please.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Guess it explains why they kept May in situ.
      Keep Boris out..he might deliver Brexit.
      Doubt it…but still all those Blairite ( Corbynite?) Remoaner Tories were safe in the certainty that May would NOT deliver Brexit.
      Not in a million years…

  32. Cromwell
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Now for a bit of kite flying. The BBC long ago abandoned impartiality and is solidly for remain. The only way to bring it to heel is to make all staff from station controller and above subject to a four yearly public ballot paid for from the licence fee.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      True to your profile!
      Love it!

    • James1
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      No, a better way of dealing with the BBC would be to abolish the licence fee. Simply privatise the BBC and let them compete in a free market. Same goes for Channel four. May the best broadcasters win.

      • Richard Evans
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        The BBC is also funded by the EU.
        Look at who owns and controls the MSM, the Establishment, so keep well away. They all spout the same narrative.

        Is that the Truth or did you hear it on the BBC or SKY or CH4 or CNN or MSNBC or NBC……….and News is what a certain group of people want YOU to KNOW.

    • NickC
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Cromwell, The only fair way to deal with the rampant bias at the BBC is to break it up and sell it off. That way, if you like the BBC world view, you pay for it, just as you do for other media. The problem is the BBC and its small coterie of sycophants are a vested interest desperately clutching at the public teat. They will fight hard and dirty.

  33. Christine
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Mrs May will go down in history as the most duplicitous PM ever. When Brexit is done there needs to be a public enquiry into her actions and those of her advisors. As for the next leader, he or she needs to engage with Nigel Farage. The alternative is to let Corbyn into No. 10, which will be disastrous for all of us. Labour will use any dirty tricks to get elected. The postal voting and proxy vote system needs reforming and quickly.

  34. Andy
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    I have to slightly disagree with you. The most difficult thing to understand is not how she thought her Withdrawal Agreement would ever pass but rather how she could have ever have negotiated such a dreadful, one sided so called agreement. She and her poodle must have been mad to ever think it would be acceptable and this is the nub of the problem.

  35. ChrissyG
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I’m left wondering why Britain held a referendum. If MPs aren’t required to represent the majority of their constituents on such occasions why not simply ask the MPs themselves to vote how they choose in the HoP? Commoners are obviously stupid &, ultimately, totally insignificant. Or are the MPs who fail to represent the majority of their constituents traitors? A strong word I know but, having looked up the words meaning I believe we may have rather a lot in the HoP. What are the laws against traitors & sovereignty I wonder. Perhaps it’s time we found out.

  36. David
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I agree with all who have posted their opinions of Mrs May premiership, it’s extremely surprising that nobody had any idea about TMs character prior to her getting the leadership I disliked her from the very first speech she made at the Tory Party conference in 1997, she has pandered to minority’s who are simply allowed to ride roughshod over the majority and divide people. I always said God help us if she gets to be PM and I. with others have been painfully right. I will say the same for Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt. We need a return to sound Biblical teaching and follow the laws of God again and return to sound Christian living for which this land was renowned.

  37. BillM
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I trust that the new Party leader cum PM will immediately remove all of those pro-EU Mandarins from the confines of Number 10 together with the europhile members of her old Cabinet and bring in EXPERTS to negotiate on behalf of OUR Country. When needed. I’d rather we leave with No Deal and start with a clean sheet, just as Mr Tusk suggested way back in 2016.

  38. Fred H
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Dear Boris has made a dubious offer to reduce Income tax for higher earners, while that is a reasonable step, it does not address the more important section of the population which is the low income group. An increase in allowances and a reduction in the 20% rate would improve the standard of living for all rather than the few. His gesture will once again be seen as a Tory give away to the rich.

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Trying to identify where it all went wrong is a bit like that memorable scene towards the end of the film “A Bridge Too Far”:

    “Brig. Gen. James Gavin: So that’s it. We’re pulling them out. It was Nijmegen.
    Lt. Col. J.O.E. Vandeleur: It was the single road getting to Nijmegen.
    Lt. Gen. Horrocks: No, it was after Nijmegen.
    Lt. Gen. Frederick “Boy” Browning: And the fog, in England.
    Maj. Gen. Stanislaw Sosabowski: Doesn’t matter what it was. When one man says to another, “I know what let’s do today, let’s play the war game.”… everybody dies.”

    Personally I believe Theresa May’s critical error was in her calculation that she could use the concocted fuss over the Irish border as a pretext for giving the CBI and similar rather narrowly based business lobby groups what they demanded, yet still retain the support of the DUP MPs and almost all of the Tory MPs.

    There must be a reason why she has never called out the Irish government over the utter nonsense they were talking about the border, and the apparent opportunity to placate the likes of the CBI stands out as by far the most likely reason.

  40. ian
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Right on Lifelogic, whoever they pick won.t be much better. they must follow the party doctrine if not, the left will vote against them inside the party to get their way and you cannot do anything without the backing of your MPs in parliament, CATCH 22.

  41. mancunius
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    “I assume she must have got many saying they wanted to do it [hold the 2017 election]”
    You think so, really??
    And there was I (and many others) assuming that she had just done it to amass a safe majority so as to be able to steamroller through the volte-face Brino she had already planned! If we were to look at the Tory candidates who were planned to take seats in 2017 – surely most of them backed for their candidacy by Cameron and CCHQ – I somehow doubt we would find many stubborn and principled Leavers among them. Nor probably many who think for themselves, for such people were always weeded out at selection. We’d just find more cuckoo-LibDems.

  42. John B
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    ‘… in Politicks the Middle Way is none at all. If We finally fail in this great and glorious Contest, it will be by bewildering ourselves in groping after this middle Way. ‘

    From a letter by John Adams angered by the prevarication of the Second Continental Congress and its ‘feckless half-measures and spineless appeasements’ over independence from Britain.

    Mrs May’s ‘compromise’, that middle way and groping for it.

    The US didn’t get its independence by half-measures and compromise, it went full out for all, not just some.

  43. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    331 MPs 2015 Election

    313 MPs 10/6/19

    = General Election 2019

  44. BR
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes those things always puzzled me too – and if you couldn’t get an understanding from direct contact, then what chance the rest of us?

    The only explanation I can see is that she was always a much more rabid remainer than she let on – one who played the ‘quiet remainer’ card in the run-up to the referendum in the hope that she could… well, do as she did, except in her version there would have been a different ending.

    The sad fact is that if she’s been batting for a WTO exit she could have achieved that in spades. Up until she used executive powers to extend, right at the death in late March (29th?) she could have said “Look, I’ve tried but this draft WA is the best those utter, utter b’stards in the EU will give us, so we’ll have to leave without a WA”.

    There would have been no time for the idiots in the HoC to do anything. I hope the next leader can do that for us, even if they have to be underhanded to achieve it since that seems to be what it will require (but it;s simply fighting fire with fire).

  45. Simon
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    When the history of this extended and embarrassing fiasco comes to be recorded I wonder who will get the blame ? The Tories by acclamation chose a lack lustre Home Sec as PM and within three she years she has managed to wreck the strongest and most enduring political party in western democracy.

  46. Original Richard
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. May will go down in history as the PM who so loved her country and its decision to become an independent nation so much that she wanted it to sign a treaty with the EU where it accepts EU laws (some of which would apply only to the UK), budgets, taxes, fines and policies (trade, energy, environment, foreign etc) but without representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit – the one described by Mr. Verhofstadt’s staff as reducing the UK to EU colony status.

  47. David
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    If Gove Hancock or Hunt and even Boris is questionable, a male version of Mrs May is likely and all the same Mistakes will be made again.

  48. Peter D Gardner
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    “The most difficult thing to understand is why she ever thought the Withdrawal Treaty would pass, and why she persevered with the strategy of attrition trying to get more and more MPs to give in to vote for it.

    The desperation is borne out of her WA being a once in a lifetime chance for those, including Mrs May, who believe technocratic supra-national government by the EU is best for UK. It is far superior than UK simply revoking its notice to withdraw under Article 50 and remaining a member.
    May’s WA prevents UK interfering in the formulation and agreement of the new EU treaties intended to replace the Lisbon Treaty by 2025. In the meantime it locks UK into EU compliance with current and future regulation so that it is pre-qualified when the time comes for the EU to end the backstop by permitting UK to accede to the new treaties.

    It is the most spectacular victory for the European Project over the most Euro-sceptical country in Europe bar none.

    Just take a look at the EU’s plans for its budget for 2021-27, which exhaust the possibilities for ever closer union under the Lisbon Treaty.

    The Commission proposes a modern budget for a Union that protects, empowers and defends. Increased expenditure, European Defence Fund, removal of all rebates, withholding EU finds from states the EU doesn’t like, incentives/coercions to join euro, new sources of funding eg., from carbon credits etc. etc.

    Remainers continue to bang on about Boris and £350million, and here in black and white it states that is to be nett figure in future. Remainers never seem to understand the EU. The rebate was always a concession by the EU never a treaty right.

    Has any Tory leadership candidate said anything about the EU and why every move by the EU makes it clearer than ever why UK must leave urgently?
    Michael Gove is even prepared to keep UK in the EU for part of this budget period. He imagines he can retain UK’s rebate? Of course any deal agreed after this new budget is agreed would reflect the new conditions for calculating the £39 billion. He’s in cloud cuckoo land and too clever to see the blindingly obvious.

    We need a true counter to Project Fear. A campaign to put fear of Remain into the heads of voters. This Project Fear could be factually based and never resort to hyperbole.

    KBO Nigel Farage!

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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