Consideration of candidates to be PM

We see a whirlwind in the press supporting Theresa May, and on the BBC, of all the negative questions asked of Andrea Leadsom during the MP part of the contest. Readers can see these debated freely elsewhere. In the interests of balance today I will report the more difficult questions asked of Theresa May and her team during the MP meetings and discussions, with a summary of how I understood her answers. I am seeking to be accurate and would be happy if supporters of Theresa wish to add to my understanding of her replies. Not all of these questions were asked by supporters of Andrea Leadsom.

Q: Why during your six years as Home Secretary has net migration risen so high and remained at very high levels, when you were pledged to cut it to tens of thousands in both the 2010 and 2015 Conservative Manifesto?

A: These are difficult and complex matters. The actions taken have reduced the totals compared to what would otherwise have happened. More measures are being considered.

Q: Why will you not reassure people currently legally settled here from other member states of the EU that they can stay following the UK’s exit?

A: It is important to negotiate these matters as part of the total package with the EU, which will take time and will be difficult.

Q: Will you today make an urgent statement saying that future migrants from the rest of the EU will come under new rules which will impose some limits on numbers.

A No

Q Will the Home Office start immediate work on a new system of migration control?

A No

Q What changes would you like to see to taxes, spending and borrowing going forwards?

A The reply made a joke about the individual MP asking but did not give an indication on any of the three possible topics raised

Q How quickly would you seek to get the UK out of the EU?

A Consider options and issues this year. Trigger Article 50 early next year and anticipate 2 years of difficult negotiations about a wide range of issues.

Q Did you deliberately soft peddle campaigning in the referendum for Remain because you were no convinced by their case?

A No. She said she campaigned with full commitment to the Remain cause. She also had to carry on work as Home Secretary. She made the good point that she did not say anything unusual or sensational, so the media did not find her remarks newsworthy.

Q Will you negotiate firmly with a strong wish to leave the EU?

A Yes, she accepts the verdict of the referendum. She will appoint a Brexiteer to a senior role in the negotiations.

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  1. formula57
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Securing Brexit and doing so fully and effectively is the only point that matters. Mrs May is less than persuasive.

    • Hope
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      She has been a disaster as Home Secretary: illegal immigrants lost to the system, could not deport terrorists under ECHR and now wishes to keep it, disaster on Crime and justice, I. Iteration- no substantive cation to take any action, read David Laws book it was a Tory sum which she led. Name her successes? She has a distasteful view on. It’s things including her nasty party! Camerona not Osborne has shown through out the GE and EU campaign that smears, innuendos and underhand tactics are very much alive and she has done what? Leads on gave a positive outlook throughout the campaign and like Boris did not engage in the vile vile of the remain camping. Now May wants Leadsom to sign a clean pledge! Go muck yourself or something similar springs to mind.

      If May is elected PM by the pro EU Tory party then the referendum was for nothing. We will get EU light that all the establishment is trying to achieve through May becoming PM. No,no,no.

      • zorro
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Indeed…. But I think that May will wilt under the pressure of debate and not being either communicative or convincing?….. Initial numbers mean nothing as shown by Alexander at Gaugamela. It is certainty of action and knowing the opponent’s weaknesses which will see the victor through.


    • Jerry
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      @formula57; “Securing Brexit and doing so fully and effectively is the only point that matters.”

      Nonsense, that could be done by way of a ‘Secretary of State for Brexit’ working out of No.11 & HMT alongside the Chancellor (both of whom should perhaps be Brexiteers). What you seem to be saying is “Stop the world, the UK needs to leave the EU”, even if most of the world did cut the UK some slack, unfortunately people such as Putin and Kim Jong-un etc. are not even listening…

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      John. As the EU is failing on every measure
      Youth unemployment
      Growth to name but a few.
      Could you please ask Mrs May why she thinks we should remain shackled to this corpse.
      I really do not understand but assume the first experiment in one world government is too important to fail as per Common Purpose and the Bilderburger.

    • sjb
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it important to find out whether there is a majority in favour of the post-EU arrangements? Wouldn’t it be an own goal to trigger the two-year countdown to WTO “the worst case scenario” (per Farage) before finding out whether better arrangements are possible?

      During the campaign Brexiteers appeared to preclude EEA because of freedom of movement. A good association agreement seems unlikely because it risks other member states seceding to get similar terms.

      Sovereignty was a major factor for some Brexiteers but WTO rules don’t allow us to unilaterally adjust a tariff for one nation; Nigel Farage thought the UK could remove the 10% tariff on Japanese cars to hurt French & German car mfrs should their nations be difficult.[1]

      [1] (start at 22:16)

    • Atlas
      Posted July 11, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      I agree formula57,

      Who can deliver real Brexit is my choice. I think Leadsom is the one who can.

  2. Spinflight
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Does May really stand a chance?

    Can’t see the wider conservative membership taking to her, particularly not given she is going to be under scrutiny for a month or two yet.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      In the natural order of things, lacklustre ministers who under-perform get the sack, not promotion. We need a cultural change in Britain where failure is NOT rewarded.

      Tad Davison


  3. stred
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    On Any Questions, Dominic Grieve said basically that he had always supported immigration and thought it was a good think, though he did not comment on the numbers or the manifesto pledge he had been elected on. He went on to blame the Leave side for causing the situation and that they should not now be showing sympathy for the migrants already here. No mention of the commitment from Leave/UKIP which the electorate had voted on.

    This gives an understanding of the mindset of the May supporting and Cameron lead side of the Conservative Party. They are in charge and they will do as they wish. To read that Mrs May wishes to do nothing to alter her existing migration rules during the long extended period of going to the EU with our begging bowl defies belief. Numbers will soar. Migrants know their threats of deportation are empty. Just look at their record.

    The incompetence of these politicians is becoming plain and must be made clear to all.

    • stred
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Sorry -thing not think.

    • zorro
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Exactly – lack of vision and ‘Continuity Cameron’ with Osborne pulling the levers….


    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Grieve also implied that EU immigrants were better than the average. Which of course is racist and perhaps untrue to. Certainly a surgeon I know was complaining about how he had to accept very inferior east European doctors in preference to far better Indian and Chinese ones.

      Anyway the UK clearly needs to take the best and reject the rest. If it is true then these EU migrants will clearly not have a problem with a points based system, on a level playing field with China, the USA, Australia, India the rest of the world will they?

      Grieve also said Brexit voters were feeling guilty for what they had done – (in his attempt to defend May’s foolish and rather nasty stance on existing EU migrants). We are not feeling guilty at all. We are delighted to have put the UK on a path back to real democracy, nimble government, economic prosperity and to have escaped the socialist, antidemocratic, sclerotic disaster that is the EU.

      A disaster that the no nation Tories plus Labour and the Libdim have inflicted on the nation. From Heath, Wilson, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and even Thatcher they have inflicted this on the nation, against the public will and without their informed & real consent.

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Stred, I too had the pleasure of listening to the second half of Any Questions.

      It really brought home me how hurt the establishment Remainers still are. Tim Farron, the poor fellow, seems genuinely heart-broken. With Dominic Grieve, did I detect a certain patrician distaste that the Yahoos were taking control?

      During the campaign I did argue with a number of Remainers, but they all had the Corbynite position. Yes, we know the EU is not much cop, but sadly it’s the best option at the moment. These people can hardly be popping the Valium after Brexit, so I wonder if the establishment Remainers quite realise how isolated they are?

      Gisela Stuart, as usual, was excellent. I wonder if the Tories will decide they don’t like either of the existing women candidates for leader and offer the job to her.

  4. David Price
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Depressing, it is as if the referendum had never happened. For someone who aspires to be Prime Minister these are not the views of the leader of a sovereign nation. On the contrary they sound like a low level functionary of a vassal state who only sees “difficulties” ahead.

    Worse still, those responses describe someone who ignores anything outside their compartmentalised world but more worryingly wishes to ignore the clearly stated will of the electorate.

    • zorro
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      The words are negative – ‘difficult’ ‘trigger A50 early next year’ (prolonging uncertainty in the hope of ‘something happening’ doubtless)- which Cameron allegedly described as too much like ‘hard s**t’…..


    • Robert Christopher
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      If you ignore the problem for long enough, the problem goes away, doesn’t it? 🙂

  5. Caterpillar
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Considering her position the answers regarding existing EU migration seem shocking.
    Also the presumed long timescale seem more attuned to staying in position up to next General Election; appointing a senior Brexiteer early and considering options should also include fast out. Presuming complexity seems to indicate a – how the UK stays in the single market – rather than a clean leave approach. This is scary.

    [I do think the media needs to get away from tittle tattle questions to the candidates and stick with the big issues – (i) approach to Brexit and (ii) future view of the U.K. If the media want to ask more general questions to show the breadth of candidates thinking and basic understanding then I’d like to hear them ask (a) is there an alternative to infinite wants? (b) what happens if the ratio of median real wage to return on capital continues / continuously falls? (c) what happens to an individual’s rationality when focussed on where the next meal comes from? (d) what do you think of basic income schemes, wealth taxes, consumer taxes etc? (e) where does money come from? (f) why are there religions, (g) what is a good life? … And rather than one of those favourite band / music questions, (h) what is your favourite integral 🙂 ? ]

  6. Excalibur
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the clarifications, JR. I believe Theresa May will use prevarication and obfuscation to delay or deny our democratic choice. She must not be allowed to do so. Andrea Leadsom’s selection has prompted a widespread, spiteful and vitriolic campaign against her by most of the media.The whirlwind merely confirms you have made the right choice. How satisfying it will be when Ms. Leadsom becomes Prime Minister. The pro-Remain lobbies in both Parliament and among the media, as well as among the public at large, really are poor losers.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Those 2 words in your first sentence will be used quite a bit here in the next 2 years, I fear, should May win.
      The very fact that she didn’t campaign forcefully for one side or the other leaves her as “Mrs Unconvinced”.
      With somebody like this at the top, the job will be made more difficult, not less.

  7. Brexit
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Thank you JR, this is another useful contribution which helps to inform, against a background of strong media bias in favour of Mrs May.

    We will be using your notes in a news piece this morning. Your readers might also like to read two news pieces we have already published about the May campaign overnight.

    The team

  8. sm
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    I voted to leave the EU in the referendum. I rejoined the Party in the following days, after a 4yr hiatus, but I will not be eligible to vote in the Leadership contest.

    Whatever the ‘fairness/unfairness’ of Mrs Leadsom’s treatment by the Press, the bald fact is that she obviously doesn’t have either a basic ability to deal with what is thrown at her (and this is but a gentle tea-party compared to what she would have to cope with as PM, not just from the media) nor a clever team of advisers.

    The UK is sailing into tempestuous world-wide waters, at home the whole country is in politically chaotic upheaval from Westminster to Little Snoring-on-Sea, and we are facing a re-run of the Blair/Brown ‘unelected Prime Minister’ debacle. What I derive from May’s responses listed above is that she is savvy enough now not to make promises. The new PM will have to make deals, some of them dubious if not downright unpleasant, to get us through the current crisis, and will need the backing of the Party – and the House, given our tiny majority – to make this country work. I’m sorry John, I don’t think Mrs Leadsom is up to the task.

    • Al
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      I read her answers as a person who wants us to vote for her sight-unseen: the interviewee who wants to be given the role without giving any hard facts as to what she would do in it. ‘Difficult’ isn’t an answer: it is either an explanation for why the following answer will be long, or used for an issue that is anything but difficult when the person giving the answer knows their real answer will not be liked or doesn’t have one and is evading.

      My main concern is that May is not savvy enough. Rachel Sylvestor was shown to have made incorrect statements by the transcript: Rachel claimed at 09:04 on the BBC that she did not bring up the issue of motherhood but the transcript shows Rachel brought it up directly in her question. However instead of telling the press that she expects a clean campaign while offering support to Leadsom (e.g. ‘As an experienced politician I understand how easily remarks can be taken out of context…’), which would make her look like a senior politician supporting a junior one, May asks Leadsom to sign a clean campaign pledge? If she can’t identify where the problem lies, that doesn’t give me faith in her handling of actual ‘difficult’ matters at all.

    • acorn
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      “If a downgrade happens, it is a huge blow for our economy, and will potentially set us back several years on repaying our debts, and returning our finances to health,” Leadsom wrote in 2009. Since the vote for Brexit, both S&P’s and Moody’s have downgraded the UK’s credit rating from AAA to AA-. Shouldn’t someone have reminded her of this 2009 blog post during the referendum campaign? HT: New Statesman.

      In April 2013 at the Hansard Society’s annual parliamentary affairs lecture, Leadsom warned against the UK leaving the European Union, stating that “I think it would be a disaster for our economy and it would lead to a decade of economic and political uncertainty at a time when the tectonic plates of global success are moving.

      To do all the things she says she did in Spiv City, you basically have to have a “licence” from the FCA, she held one for a year in 2002, as far as I can tell.

      • acorn
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Wow JR, I never thought you would publish my above, but thanks anyway.

        I am not sure which of your two candidates is the biggest “Deficit Hawk”? Mrs Leadsom has demonstrated how little she knows about macro-economics, with her “Prosperity should be our goal not austerity” speech. There again, I don’t know if Mrs May knows any more.

        I wouldn’t vote for either of them; but, I am one of 44 million voters who are not allowed to have a say about who my next Prime Minister will be!

        PS: Google Mark Blyth Mackenzie Lecture 2015 – Austerity and the Politics of Money (start at 13 mins in, to 55 mins)

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Whatever the ‘fairness/unfairness’ of Mrs Leadsom’s treatment by the Press, the bald fact is that she obviously doesn’t have either a basic ability to deal with what is thrown at her

      I confess that this is my impression of the candidate you support Mr Redwood. To be so easily caught out on the motherhood question, the CV issue and her less than assuring experience in high office.

      The Conservative MPs have delivered the party two of the least worthy candidates possible. Gove for all his treachery should have been the leave candidate (unless he truly was in thrall to the Chancellor), and I can’t believe that 199 MPs back a woman whose tenure n the Home Office has been categorised by abject failure in many areas. Are there so few capable people in the ranks? Why did the old guard not stand up to be counted (yourself and Mr Davis, Mr Redwood).

      I am hugely disappointed and my euphoria over the leave vote has been diminished by your party’s refusal to embrace our choice.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Dear Shoulders–Boris should have been elected by acclamation–The so-called Conservative Party has become a joke–Latest in a long line is women in the SAS–Crazy and unwanted–All that will happen as with Firemen and the Police is that standards will drop–Nigel Farage as usual wrote the best I have seen on why Mrs May would be the worse of a poor choice

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders.
        ‘I am hugely disappointed and my euphoria over the leave vote has been diminished by your party’s refusal to embrace our choice.’

        You’re not the only one who feels like that!! I think many of us feel we are going to be betrayed and not get what we voted for. Nothing has happened yet but the country is hopefully temporarily suffering financially largely because nobody knows what will happen and can see nothing is being done and by nobody making a decision it does not help. The establishment will wait until things are so bad that they will manipulate the situation and ensure we don’t leave or have a very watered down version.

        They are gambling with our country’s future and the will of the people.

      • Thersites
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        ‘caught out on the motherhood question’

        That is true only if you accept that there is a ‘motherhood question’.

        Leadsom answered gently but firmly: parents who go through the 20+ years of child-rearing with all its economic and social disadvantages have much more at stake than childless hetero- or homosexual couples.

        It is nice to hear someone sticking up for families and not parading the PC pretence that whatever kind of relationship you are in, they are all of equal social worth: they are not.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        She dealt fine with what was thrown at her, she stated the clear truth, that having children does give you a different perspective. Whatever she had said the remain Hyenas in the May camp, would have tried to kill her.

        If nothing else it mean you are far more informed about the education system, the UK’s dumbed down exam systems and the pressures of running a family while doing a full time job.

        • Mitchel
          Posted July 11, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          There was a similar but lower profile row a couple of years ago when Niall Ferguson suggested that Keynes economic theories were flawed because he was childless and therefore had less of a stake in the future effect of his policies(- in the long term we are all dead).

          “We are not dead in the long run…our children are our progeny.It is the economic ideals of Keynes that have gotten us into the problems of today”

          Needless to say,he too was forced,by the howls from liberals/modernists/feminists, to apologise.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted July 12, 2016 at 6:14 am | Permalink

            Niall Ferguson should have apologised for getting his economic theory wrong too!

            Yes, our children are our progeny but we can’t possibly borrow from them. They never need to repay any debts that we create in our own currency. They’d need a time machine to be able to do that! The 60’s generation never had it so good! We weren’t burdened in the slightest by the debts which accrued just 20 years earlier from a costly war. The costs of that war, and not just in financial terms, were borne by a previous generation.

            We were burdened by the physical damage to buildings. Both here and in Germany which also lost territory. But that’s not the same thing as having to pay for the munitions that were manufactured during that war.

            We can’t leave the next generation any money. They can create their own. We can’t leave them cars and TV sets etc. They’ll be obsolete. We can leave them a clean environment, good transport systems, a good education and health service etc.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 12, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

            Indeed if nothing else having children also means you are likely to be more understanding of concerns over education, childcare and all sorts of other issues.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink


        In my own experience, a lot of Tory MPs kidded us all along they were Eurosceptic just to get elected because they knew that made them popular with their local party membership, but in reality, they were anything but – they are solidly pro-EU and now we can see who they are and what they are!

        I do not trust any one of them any further than I could throw them. We need a completely new class of politician whose word is literally their bond, and who do not practise to deceive. I fear Mrs. May lacks credibility.


      • DennisA
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        There is another elephant in the room and that is Climate legislation, which Angela Leadsom appears to support wholeheartedly:
        “Just when we think the world can’t get any madder, along comes something to show that we haven’t yet seen the half of it (who, three years ago, could have predicted the rise of Isil or Donald Trump?). Another such moment came last Monday when our energy minister Andrea Leadsom told MPs that the Government now believes that we should “enshrine” in law the “Paris goal” of cutting our emissions of CO2 to “zero”.”

    • Sunday Morning
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Spot on. If you are taken in by a pretend friendly reporter you have no hope against real operators.
      David Price above says May is like a low level functionary of a vassal state.
      Yet she can bat off awkward questions.
      They are both equally dire ( or good ).

    • Vanessa
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      sm – I completely agree with you. Leadsom is light-weight and has no comprehension of what is coming if she is successful. I don’t think she is strong or experienced enough to cope. If she wins it will be another “quiet man” pretending to be able and she will have to go in a matter of months. Not what we need in these testing and very complex times.
      May, it has to be, despite being on the “Remain” side. She has said Brexit means Brexit. She could not clearer.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      @sm; Well said, and at least your comment got published today and not in three days time when everyone has moved onto another debate, which is what happened to one of my comments when I dared to question Mrs Leadsom’s experience the day our host declared his support for her…

      I carry no flame for Mrs May, in my opinion neither of them are suited for the job but one is going to be the next PM what ever so it has to be a choice between the least worst.

      Also it is no use Mrs Leadsom complaining that the media made her family part of the campaign, because it was Leadsom herself who first raised the issue of having a children and their futures in one of the referendum TV debates, whilst she could have simply refused to say anything in response to the Times reporter -silence or “no comment” can not be misreported!

      • Ken Moore
        Posted July 11, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        The whole storm over the family issue has been whipped up by the media who for some reason want Mrs May as PM. What has she promised the newspaper owners and BBC.

        She never attacked Mrs May for not having children it’s the most petty non story ever. Mr Heath was described as Batchelor Heath’..his childless state was an issue in his election campaign as is right in an open society it’s up to voters to make a judgement…

        • Jerry
          Posted July 11, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          @Ken Moore; Sorry but if she was not attacking her opponents why make mention of her own or anyone’s family, her problems go back to those referendum TV debates, not the Times interview -all the latter did was show up her inexperience- and it was those earlier attacks that caused people to see her Times comment as an ‘attack on Mrs May’.

    • Alexis
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Our current PM showed great talent for dealing with the press, and saying the most appropriate thing to whichever audience he faced at the time.

      However, in my personal opinion, his talent ended there.

      I am much more interested in people’s ability to accomplish difficult objectives.

  9. eeyore
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    If Mrs May is elected she will need the country behind her. She won’t have it. She may be a competent manager, though on her record that is debateable. What she isn’t is a leader. Managers are common, leaders rare.

    I’ve had an uneasy feeling about this business since Mr Gove’s grotesque suicide bomb. He took down with him the one person capable of offering popular leadership, for the trivial reason that that person’s managerial abilities were in his personal opinion inadequate.

    A mere 150,000 Tory members, largely over 60 and living in the South-east, are about to decide for the whole country. They will not soon be forgiven if they get it wrong.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      If Boris Johnson was a real leader why didn’t he just stand anyway, why was Gove’s support so crucial? I suspect Boris knew as the moment approached that he wasn’t up to it. (Not that the candidates we have are very inspiring!)

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Dear Richard–The way I see it is the Party wasn’t up to him–Very lucky they are to have the present Labour Party against them

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Not at all. Boris knew that there was a huge ‘Stop Boris’ agenda from the ‘no nation Tory remainer wing’ as he was clearly more popular with the members. Under the system that pertains he knew that he would not have made it to the last two after Gove’s halfwitted knifing of him.

        Had he done so he would surely have won overwhelmingly against the tedious remain supporter and person who has presided dishonestly over the huge migration levels – Mrs May. A person who absurdly assured the nation that we had control of our borders (within the EU) through Schengen. Just how daft does she think the public are?

      • eeyore
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Obviously because he couldn’t get enough MPs’ votes on his own.

        As to his being up to it, PMs can readily find capable drudges to manage the government while they get on with the more important task of uniting, guiding and inspiring the country. That’s leadership. Boris is in my opinion fully up to it – although I admit he’s possibly not up to anything less.

      • Mark B
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        I’d doubt he had as much support among all the other MP’s as he first thought. Better let another person try, and fail, then he can come to the Party’s rescue and be its saviour and darling. They would have forgiven him by then for standing against, Cameron and potentially splitting the Party.

        Until then, he will be slowly building up support just like Mrs. May has been doing all these years.

        You seriously do not think that she decided to go for the ‘Top Job’ on the off chance do you ?

        Smart move, if correct.

      • Hope
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        No, he knew they were being brutal to get rid of him. Bole needs to asked some very pertinent questions.

      • DaveM
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Maybe gearing up for a leadership challenge in 3 years when he’s held a cabinet post (possibly) and when all the Brexit hard work’s been done?

        I fully understand our host’s points and sympathise with most commenters here but find myself remaining cautiously optimistic whichever way the leadership goes. I hope whoever it is does a better job of putting Sturgeon in her place than appeaser Cameron has. At least he confirmed all our suspicions by cutting and running when the going got tough. What a wimp he turned out to be.

      • rose
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        I think he knew, as Gove knew, that he didn’t have the support of the parliamentary party. That was always suspected but in those hours before the submissions were due it was becoming clear to them both. Gove then tried to salvage the situation by standing himself – as Mrs T did when Keith Joseph was knocked out by a leftwing media campaign, but in her case she had longer to do it in.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      @eeyore; If Mrs Leasom wins she will definitively not have the country behind her, it will not take many Brexit accepting/wanting May supporters to withdraw there support for Leadsom’s leadership for support nationally to dip below 50%, at least with Mrs May she might well be able to carry such BSE supporters. Sorry but Mrs Leadson could end up being another John Major or Gordon Brown, in office but not in power – or worse, a Tory party version of Corbyn, overseeing a civil war within, if not destruction of, the party.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Indeed but I think they may well get it right. May does not come across well at all. The population voted for a revolution and certainly not just a Mrs May.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    She is clearly not suitable to be leader, she simply does not believe in the cause. She failed as Home Secretary to control even the non EU immigration, this while pretending to be trying to limited (overall immigration) to the tens of thousands. Worst of all, during the referendum, she blatantly misled the nation that we had control of our borders through Schengen.

    She is also comes across as tedious, boring and bossy. She will not me an electoral asset. She is not even on the same side as the voters were in this issue not the Tory Party Members. Had the leader of the Conservatives supported Brexit and not sloped the pitch with tax payer funded remain propaganda, Obama, emergency budgets, the appalling BBC bias (which still continues) and other absurd scares then Brexit would have won by nearer two to one.

    It is a great shame that Gove foolishly murdered Boris but Leadsom is by far the better option now. Above all she has far superior backers. Theresa May is personification of a professional career politician, she never says anything much nor believes in anything very
    much. A continuation of the high tax borrow and waste, LibDim, climate alarmism, PC, Cameron agenda – but without any of the PR skills. John Major in a dress as some one put
    it. Well perhaps not quite as bet as that but not far off.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Since when has it been such a heinous crime to state that having children can give people a rather different perspective on life and politics? It is surely just an obvious statement of truth, it certainly did for me. If nothing else it convinced me that, in the nature/nurture debate, it is nature that is clearly the far larger influenoce. All of my children are very different to each other, each having very different interests and abilities. This was very clear almost from birth.

      The education needs to provide for these large differerences in ability, interests and attitudes. Where do the candidates stand on grammar schools and on far better practical & vocational qualifications? Would one want a minister for education who had no children of their own? Where do they stand on all the exaggerated climate alarmism, bogus science, and the other ‘BBC think’ drivel and other religion/belief systems that are indoctrinated at schools and through the exam syllabus.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        LL, it’s a bit like the childless PC brainwashed social worker who presumes to tell those with kids, how to bring them up.

        Our three have all grown up to be honest, decent, law-abiding, hard-working, and respectable adults. It’s an unfortunate truth, but unless you have been a parent, you can’t really appreciate what it entails, anymore than a man can appreciate what it is like to give birth.

        I don’t hold it against Mrs. May for not having kids though, I hold it against her for being an abject failure who now seeks the reward of the highest office in the land. For running down the police service to the point where some forces will only attend a burglary depending upon whether a person’s house has an odd or an even number, or the massive amounts of immigration (as Andrew Neil suggested this morning) she COULD control but didn’t.

        And if Andrea Leadsom were to win the election to be party leader, she cold pick the brightest, the best able, and the most trustworthy people to serve alongside her. That has to be a major consideration.

        Personally, I would like to see JR replace Osborne as Chancellor, and we might just finally get a Home Secretary who puts the public first, rather than the criminal.


    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Why is Theresa May so keen to claim she went to a Comrehensive School, when she actually went to a private school and then a Grammar school from 13? Presumably after passing some sort of academic selection tests. Where does she actually stand on Grammar Schools? Has she ever said? She says very little of substance on her policies in the modern ‘professional politician’ mode.

      The more one reads about Mrs May the more insufferably PC she sounds. Not really that different to the Harriet Harperson types of PC champagne lefties.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Mrs May is also responsible for the ridiculous Goddard enquiry into child sexual abuse in every conceivable institution going back to 1970. This will surely cost £10ms if not a multiple, take years, result in thousands of bogus and tendentious claims of abuse and achieve nothing.

        But can we really have a lightweight like Mrs Leadsom as PM?!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          Well I would certainly prefer Leadsom, just look at the supporters of Theresa May. They are generally the last people we want to have in office the same no nation “Tories” and remainers who created the mess.

        • Mark B
          Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          The purpose of inquiries is to kick awkward political hot potatoes into the long grass just long enough to be someone else’s problem. eg Chilcot

        • Tad Davison
          Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink


          As Prime Minister, Andrea Leadsom would be the head of a hand-picked team of solid performers with proven ability, so it isn’t just a question of Andrea Leadsom’s experience. And I trust her to make up a cabinet of the best people, not the lily-livered pro-EU ‘yes-men’ of yesterday. If she could turn the bulk of the 17 million leavers into her supporters by promoting the right people and giving the country the right policies, she would be unassailable.


        • getahead
          Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          Light or heavy, a person with the right policies is better than a person with the wrong ones.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    How can anyone honourable ever agree to take a post as “Minister for Women and Equality”. You can either be for Women or for Equality not both. Anyone sensible would refuse.

    Or indeed how can you have a government policy of reducing ‘no if no buts to the tens of thousands’ and take a post knowing full well that it was impossible to deliver given open door EU immigration, also failing even to control no EU migration. This alone was over double the overall target. It is hardly being straight and honest with the public is it? It is just trying to trick and deceive them, they have had more than enough of this.

    • hefner
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      LL, Another bee in the bonnet?

      • Jerry
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        @hefner; Mr Lifelogic appears, at times, to have a bee-hive under his bonnet!

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Dear hefner–He is not alone and I would go further. “Motherhood and Apple Pie” has gone out the window (the latter admittedly for dietary reasons) and now it is said, mainly by say-anything Cameron, that women want absolute identity not just equality. I for one don’t know any such women. Why did either or both the Good Lord by ordination or/and Mother Nature by evolution make two sexes? Mrs Leadsom’s semi-hysterical response to the comments on her “vile” mention of her children unfortunately said a lot. Everything says a lot including our host’s dislike of the word immigration. If the word immigrant has non PC connotations these days who exactly has to answer for that?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Well is it a rather clear conflict of interests, just in the very title of the office.

    • zorro
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Pie crust promises…..


    • Mark B
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      The whole point of these ridiculous non-positions is to guarantee the government has enough votes in the bag – nothing more.

      I mean, why keep the Scottish, Welsh and NI Offices’ when they have devolved Parliaments ?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I concur. There is no such thing as positive discrimination. And many women feel all-female shortlists are a bad idea as it demeans them.


  12. Antisthenes
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Is Theresa May John Major in drag? Personality wise there appears little difference. Her answer hardly satisfactory. Typical I am a politician that does not have a clue responses and has no sense of urgency. Does not care about keeping the country safe only on not being blamed for it if it all goes wrong.

    The Times twisting of the facts about Andrea Leadsom response about her children and of course Theresa team then capitalised upon it. Honest people would point out that the Times hack used entrapment then denied that she did. Gutter journalism indeed and certainly not a personal attack on Theresa by Andrea and it was dishonest to make out that it was. Apart from which Andrea had a point anyway. Someone with children will of course be more concerned about future generations than those without. That is an obvious fact so to make something out of it is ridiculous and shows up those that attempt to do so to be totally unprincipled.

    • stred
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      It would be a good idea to tell Andrea to lay off foxes, as plenty of Tories think they are dear little doggies, murdered savagely by marauding psychopaths and their savage canine lackeys. Personally, I support the bunnies and think foxes are the villians.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Dear Stred–And then there are those lovely field mice done to a nasty death by those horrible hawks that the RSPB gets orgasmic about–Ditto with those poor trout and the ospreys.

    • mike fowle
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Agree. The Times behaviour was shocking. It’s my view that the irresponsible and dishonest behaviour of so much of the media leads to disasters like the second Gulf War.

    • Daisy
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Asking a question based on the interviewee’s frequently-repeated remarks is hardly entrapment. Gabbling ill-considered replies and then being outraged at their being reported is simply foolish.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        This type of interviewing and the twisting of the reply by interpreting it in a way that is to the disadvantage of the interviewee to score points is low and deceitful. If more than one interpretation can be put on the reply or it is unclear what is meant then it is incumbent on the interviewer to ask what the interviewee actually means or to ask that answer be clarified. It is obvious that on this occasion the interviewer had the interpretation ready before asking the question and was angling to receive an answer that she could misuse at will. It is a very common tactic of hacks and TV presenters. No wonder our politicians have become deceitful liars and spin on everything. They have to as to avoid this type of pitfall that Andrea fell into.

        The media does not want to present the facts so that we judge them they want to present the facts and make us accept them as they judge them.

      • rose
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        So why did the leftwing hack change her story twice and why has the Times refused to release the full transcript?

      • deborah
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Persistently questioning about something and then misrepresenting the response whilst insisting it was the interviewee who brought the subject up is both dishonest and entrapment.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Andrea simply stated the truth that having children does often alter your perspectives on life, then the Theresa May hyenas all went in for the kill.

      While Theresa May, of course, stays well aloof and pure, well above the ugly fray. I assume they are the same types of hyenas who tried to pin the death of Jo Cox on all the leave supporters. Thank goodness that failed in the end, it did work to quite a large degree.

      • Jerry
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        @LL; But you do not need to have children to have ones perceptions on life changed by their current and future needs, it is quit frankly crass to suggest otherwise, are you really suggesting that otherwise baron Uncles and Aunts do not care about the future of their nieces and nephews?! Also some of the most caring people, some of the most empathetic people, working with or for other peoples children are those who have been unable to have children due to medical reasons.

        • a-tracy
          Posted July 11, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          I don’t get a say in this election of May or Leadsome but to be frank this argument wouldn’t influence my decision either way.

          The guys in my office that have recently had children have confirmed my thoughts that before they had them they didn’t realise what services were like at the local doctors or A&E but now they do. Before they had the children they didn’t have life insurance now they do. Before they had them they weren’t interested in local schools and playgroups now they are. They hadn’t stepped foot in a Library for years now they go all the time. They didn’t worry about when term time was either. Just a few to be going on with, they have loads of nieces and nephews too. Their perceptions on life changed, the feelings of responsibility are massive.

          I had an aunt who couldn’t have children I wouldn’t for one moment suggest she didn’t care about her nephews and nieces futures, that is a strawman argument, but she left the choosing of their actives, what schools they went to, visits to doctors, dentists, opticians, what they watched on tv, what time they went to bed, what they wore, what college courses they did and ensuring the parents earned sufficient money to pay for their needs to worry about, she wouldn’t have concerned herself about working tax credits and child benefit and the price of school uniform, trips and activities or when she could take her holiday each year. Public transport wasn’t high on her requirements, even the price of food and what is currently considered good for children or not.

          If May’s team want to keep banging on about this go right ahead, waste time on it. But Andrea needs to move on and discuss substantial ideas. These 20 Conservative MPs threatening to be agitators in a Leadsom government need taking in hand by their conservative associations and remind them who they are there to serve – the clue is not themselves! I hope my Conservative MP doesn’t do anything so crass.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 12, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          She did not say “you do not need to have children to have ones perceptions on life changed by their current and future needs” nor did I.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            @LL; It is not what words you or Mrs Leadsom used but what the sentences actually mean. But you knew that…

  13. Iain gill
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Simply not good enough. Not just for pm, but for a minister responsible for immigration. She is part of the problem.

    • Lesley
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      The EU was The Problem for many of the Home Secretary’s woes.

      • Mark B
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        No it was not !

        Non-EU immigration, which is running far higher than EU immigration can be reduced. It wasn’t. Why, and who was responsible ?

      • getahead
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        But she is / was pro-EU.

    • turboterrier
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      @ Iain Gill

      “She is part of the problem”

      A lot of people really do believe that she is the problem.

      Her record especially regarding her time at the Home Office is lamentable.

      • zorro
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        The Border Force has four boats to patrol the country’s sea borders….. Reassuring ?


      • Jerry
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        @Ian Gill; @turboterrier; As Lesley said, Mrs May was, as any Home Secretary would have been, constrained by EU law, if that is not the case then the rational for Brexit fails, we do not need a Brexit just a different Home Secretary and PM…

  14. Mick
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I don’t trust Mrs May to give the British people what they voted for, she is a remainer and this as all be carefully worked out from the start of the referendum, somehow she knows she is going to con the electrate I just cannot put my finger on it, whereas Mrs Leadsom I do trust in she comes across very trustworthy even though I’m not a Torie supporter “for now” , as far as the article in the paper about motherhood which Mrs Leadsom allegedly said I would take with a pinch of salt,

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      If Cameron was the heir to Blair, May is the heir to Cameron. About time we cut the bloodline and let that breed with all its inherent faults die out.


  15. agricola
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Theresa May is supported by large elements of the press, the BBC, and a majority of conservative MPs. She is the last chance for these vested interests and their supporters to salvage something from the expressed will of the people. She is the last throw of the dice for those who would wish us to remain in the EU. A Trojan Horse, albeit nicely shod.
    Just as in the referendum campaign, they will lie, distort and do their damnedest to give us a very diluted version of Leave. As they say , it’s not all over till the fat lady sings, and that is no reference to either candidate.

    Theresa May has been as equivocal in her answers to key questions as ever. They are merely an extension of her silence within Remain. She now feels she must say something without committing to anything, or she will look stupid , which she is not.

    One key question which you have omitted. Why during her term in office as Home Secretary did she permit the operation of Sharia courts of law, to the detriment of many Muslim women, when we already have both English and Scottish law covering every eventuality with equanimity to all concerned.

    You were absolutely correct in supporting Andrea Leadsom for PM. Someone under whose leadership, those who voted Leave can expect to fulfil their desire of a future relationship with Europe that is cooperative, humane, and guarantees our independence as a sovereign state.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Spot on!


  16. Cheshire Girl
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    It is said in The Times this morning, that several MP’s will resign if Andrea Leadsom is chosen to be Prime Minister.

    Among the names are Nicky Morgan, Nick Boles and Anna Soubry. Well, all I can say is, they won’t be missed. A more ineffectual bunch I’ve yet to see!

    • turboterrier
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      @Cheshire Girl.

      All one can say to that is bring it on, for once one would hope that the Times has got it exactly correct.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Whoever wins, this little lot should be cleared out. Useless, everyone, chosen by Cameron, the worst picker of winners, based mostly on chumocracy

    • zorro
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Are they promising that? ? There is a God!


      • zorro
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        I am sure that Anna Soubry would self combust due to the lack of media attention, and how would Nicky Morgan ever be leader if she wasn’t an MP ??


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      They would be missed when there was a Commons division and Prime Minister Leadsom couldn’t get a majority of MPs to support her proposal. If it was as many as 20 as reported then even if they only abstained that would wipe out the government’s working majority, which is 16. Maybe that’s why the number 20 is being mooted, to give the impression that Leadsom could not survive as Prime Minister and so the Tory party members should not vote for her.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      You have Tory MPs who were preselected and finally selected as Tory candidates long after the present rules for Tory leadership elections were established, as I recall back when Hague was the party leader. Under those rules Anna Soubry and the others each have their vote as MPs to help decide which two candidates should be presented to the party members for them to make the final choice. Now they are in effect threatening to bring down the Tory government if the members don’t choose the candidate they prefer. I don’t know what their local Tory members will think about this, whether they will behave like a flock of sheep and vote as their MPs tell them to vote, or they will react by standing on their rights and voting against the wishes of MPs who show such disloyalty.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I have had no real particular choice in this as the power of PM is irrelevant whilst we are still in the EU. But if what you say is true I say; VOTE LEADSOM !!!!!!!!!

      Just to see the back of them !

    • Mark
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      This morning Mr Boles is insisting he isn’t a quitter:

      Should we assume he will follow in Cameron’s footsteps and quit in three days’ time?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Personally, I am indifferent to the first two, but I have a pronounced antithesis towards the third! She needs to be out of politics altogether! She brings it into disrepute.


    • Tory infiltrator
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      They won’t need to resign, there’s no way any future PM would keep these three failures in their current posts.

  17. Mark B
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    What worries me about some of her answers in relation to the renegotiations, is that she keeps referring to the fact that; ” . . . they will take time . . . “

    That and the fact that she is preparing to ask for things, ie the freedom of movement, to be renegotiated. Clearly the EU has said that i does not wish to renegotiate any of the Four Freedoms. This is very disturbing.

    The UK needs a quick, clean and relatively pain free exit. We need to accept that BREXIT is not an end in itself, but a journey consisting of steps and stages. To that end, we need to accept what is at least, or be it temporarily, the least worst deal. That would be an EFTA / EEA arrangement. Clearly Mrs. May is going for a bi-lateral trade agreement and she is already setting out her stall. This could take many years and, by then the UK would be further entangled in the EU as we are sill bound by its treaties.

    To me, judging by her answers, she is not someone who is in anyway committed to restoring the sovereign power of parliament.

    Alas I do not get a vote in this particular game and I fear that I may never live to see my country free no matter what the likes of, Mrs. May say. For, once she is in power there is no way of forcing her to enact on anything that she promises. Of course you could launch a leadership challenge, but with so many MP’s also wedded to the Europhile dream I’d doubt anyone will be able to topple her.

    But as I said in an earlier post. If Mrs. May is elected, she will prove a most excellent recruiting sergeant for other parties.

    And with a gathering storm in the EU and a genuinely Eurosceptic at the helm of the Labour Party, I very much doubt even those voted Conservative in the last GE and Remain in the referendum will be assuaged in their anger at the Nasty Parties in ability to govern effectively.

    Teresa May = John Major v2.0

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    She said judge her on her record which I consider to be one of failure. Her answers to those questions from colleagues do nothing to justify why someone who has such a poor record in office should be promoted to the top job. I remain of the view that her support amongst MPs and the media is not based on the belief that she has the necessary leadership skills (she clearly doesn’t) but she is their best hope of thwarting the democratically expressed will of the British people in the EU referendum.

  19. MikeP
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Has Theresa May actually ever been asked to clarify what she understands by Brexit, ie what she’d implement? Given support of all her Remainer colleagues, I fear she’d be bowled over by some half-baked offer of staying in the EU with an extended “special status” on immigration, the emergency brake we should have been offered in the first place.
    But what the 17 million want is an end to ECJ jurisdiction, control over our laws, repeal of the EU Act, to control our money, our borders and our trade. We’d be happy to continue tariff-free but that would be for EU leaders to mull over. We effectively pay a tariff of 7% now apparently given our £8-10bn net contribution, so any improvement on that would be worth considering.

  20. John Bracewell
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I hope the Conservative membership complete the job of surprising the Party elite with its strength of opposition to the Cameron/Osborne clique to which May obviously belongs given these carry on as now answers with an EU exit lite thrown in. The Leave voters wanted a complete change of attitude to a ‘we can be an independent country’ outlook which means making radical changes in immigration, fishing, agriculture, foreign policy etc. To achieve this we need a PM who believes in this country not a continuation of the defeatism and the self inflicted economic woes that Osborne/Carney are helping to bring about.

  21. Daisy
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I am not enthusiastic about Theresa May, but Andrea Leadsom does not seem to be anywhere near ready for the responsibilities of a Prime Minister. A few good ideas are not enough, even for a Brexiter. As for the recent media storm, she made a silly point in a very clumsy manner and reacted hysterically when it was made public. Can the entire Parliamentary party really not do any better? I can think of twenty MPs better suited to be Leader, including many that I don’t much like but can at least respect.

  22. Excalibur
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Today’s Independent accuses Theresa May of ‘failing abused women’ in what is described as a sharia courts “whitewash”. The suggestion is that the appointment of Islamic scholars to an inquiry panel, as advocated by Ms. May, will result in theological debates, rather than the outright banning of sharia courts.

  23. Richard1
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    What depressing reading. If there was a sensible alternative Mrs May would not win on this basis. But Mrs Leadsom seems a lightweight. I have read the transcript of Mrs Leadsom’s interview with The Times, it is quite clear she did make the unpleasant, inane and irrelevant claim that having children makes her a better candidate than Mrs May to be PM. It is also clear she has hugely exaggerated the level of seniority and experience in the City she had prior to becoming an MP.

    Is there any way of getting another candidate into the race, it really is extraordinary that more than 350 Conservative MPs can’t do better than this?

  24. Dioclese
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Project Smear is in full swing. Have they learnt nothing from the backlash of Project Fear? It would seem not.

    There is something of Francis Urquhart in Theresa May that I find alarming. She is directing things quietly in the background and getting her cohorts to do the dirty work so she can appear to remain detached and statesmanlike. Personally I am not fooled by this and hope that others will share my opinion.

    Coincidentally, I shall be watching the original House of Cards later today. It will be interesting to consider whether May has a copy on hand and is using it as an instructional manual on how to become PM.

    As was once said of Michael Howard, there is something of the night about her and frankly I just don’t trust her…

  25. Pauline Moorhouse
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    So good to read words of wisdom which I hope will succeed over spin. The new Prime Minister will actually be in charge of running this country for the first time in 40 years. In all that time no investigative journalist has made an attempt to inform us of the lifestyles, thoughts or even names of the people running the country. I would like to know why. This level of journalism isn’t impressive. We need to know the strategies our future PM will use to remove us from the EU, the timing and confirmation from Theresa May that should she succeed she will employ the Leave team in her cabinet. She has issued a list she wishes Andrea to agree to. I think the country should receive confirmation from her that she will
    not delay Article 50 and she is committed to protecting our borders.

  26. Peter
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I’d be reasonably happy with either. I noted the Times’ attach on Mrs Leadsom on Friday. The story is unravelling and the Times wont release their tape of the interview –

    Wrt Mrs May, I was upset with no acceptable reply – just anonymous boilerplate – to my request that the ban on UK entry to Robert Spencer, of Jihadwatch fame, be rescinded. But she may not have seen my request; she must get thousands as HS.

  27. Deborah
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    ” a Brexiteer to a senior role”.
    I suppose that may explain Priti Patel’s recent behaviour.
    The use of “a senior role”, rather than “the senior role” speaks volumes.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Good spot.


    • Mark
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Cameron has six “Brexiteers” in his cabinet. Any new PM will need at least half the cabinet to be Brexiteers, including Treasury, FCO, Brexit minister, Home Office (at least immigration), DEFRA, DECC, BIS, Transport, Attorney General.

      • stred
        Posted July 11, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Better keep Boris out of the FCO in case he needs to go to Turkey. His excellent poem may result in him never coming back.

        Here’s another which needs improving but may help those party members who are confused about what is going on and whether having produced children should make you want to be run by Junker, May or Leadsom.

        May will quietly delay,
        While Remain have their way,
        And her Article Fifty,
        Looks increasingly shifty,
        Stay lost the vote,
        Now Leave looks remote.

  28. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The likely outcome of May being PM is UKIP winning big in 2020.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink


      We’ve been waiting for an upside to this leadership election business and now you have provided it!
      I now have hopes of Mrs. May winning, although anything she negotiated should be put to the people in another referendum. Not a referendum to change from Out to In, but merely to accept what is offered or to decline and go instead with WTO and come out completely, cleanly and negotiate from there. With such a plan made clear from the start, maybe minds in the EU would be concentrated on coming to a decent deal instead of the humiliating flea in the ear given to Cameron.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      UKIP Will seriously have to up their game if they are to capitalise on those nearly 4 million votes from last time.

      The old parties have heard the message and will start ‘talking’ tough on immigration without doing a damned thing. All to take votes off them.

      A lost depends if the government backslides on BREXIT and Labour split.

  29. oldtimer
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    On Marr this morning two views on the candidates. David David supports May on grounds of more experience in politics. Arron Banks distrusts May, thinking she will send to delay the Brexit process and do what happened in Norway where the political elite ignored the popular vote and Norway finished up with a deal that included freedom of movement. He also observed that Project Fear has morphed into Project Smear (of Leadsome).

    Although May clearly has more political experience and how to bat away journalists’ questions, Leadsome has the greater motivation to deliver Brexit and a different set of experiences. It is a critical choice for Conservative party members. Let us hope that the hustings will provide enough opportunity for them to quizz both candidates vigorously and in detail. At the moment I think we need to know much, much more about the approach and policies they propose if they are selected.

    • oldtimer
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Send to delay should read seek to delay.

    • turboterrier
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink



      “Arron Banks distrusts May, thinking she will seek to delay the Brexit process and do what happened in Norway”

      Absolutely correct.

      Former Attorney-General Dominic Grieve MP on BBC QT just about confirms the remainer:s secret hopes and aspirations.

      “It’s possible people might change their minds about this”
      “I don’t take the view that referendums are writ in stone”

      Every day we wait to get the process started gives the remainer,s more opportunities to highlight every doom and gloom scenario that raises its ugly head. I do not recall any of the leave and UKIP leaders and spokesmen promising us a bed of roses from day one.

      There are those that make it happen.
      There are those who think it may happen.
      There are those who wonder what the **** happened.

      Andrea is definitely in the first group and that is what this country needs and we need it now.

      Get us out of the building now before it collapses, the fault lines are already showing and will only get bigger as other countries go to the polls and demand change

  30. Colin Watson
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Well I think everyone needs to understand that we have a choice of two people and it needs the most experienced and professional one to take it forward. What goes on in the background or in the media, either made up or exaggerated is for the uneducated and generally naive members of the public. Sound bites to generate a story and whip up social media rhetoric.

    Mrs May being quiet in the campaign is not an issue nor is the fact that she supported remain. Does it mean that if the Prime Minister has a different view than others they are not fit for office. In a parliament term I am sure there will be times that this will happen on important issues. It is how they handle the will of the public and parliament. That would go for Mrs Leadsom as well.

  31. bigneil
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    She wants to Remain – so she now wants the reward that the EU promised Cameron for totally selling this country to EU control. She will NOT take this country out. Another traitor, like “Dave”.

  32. Chris S
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I am deeply suspicious of Mrs May’s intentions. I’m convinced she will go for the soft option of a Norway-like solution which would be the worst of all worlds, fudging an end to FOM and continuing massive contributions to the EU budget. We very clearly voted to end both.

    To inject some certainty that we are really to leave, we need to trigger Article 50 as soon as possible.

    I believe we should then start negotiations from the position of not needing access to the so-called free market. The Germans will soon take fright at that because of the 10% tariff on their cars. A tariff-free deal outside the free market will surely follow which we should insist includes passporting for UK-based financial services businesses.

    Mrs May’s answers to other questions were less than satisfactory, although I agree we can much better protect the interests of our citizens living in the EU if reciprocal arrangements for the much larger number of EU citizens living here remain on the table.

    An agreement over these 5m people can be made on the very first day of negotiations or much earlier if only Merkel can make Hollande, Junckers and the Commission to see sense and start informal talks.

    My inclination is to support Andrea although I appreciate concerns over her lack of cabinet experience. However, Neither Blair nor Cameron had been in government and started off well. Brown, by contrast was one of the most experienced of all and he was a disaster !

    It has to be down to the qualities of the individual. Andrea appears to be more a personable and a more rounded individual, more likely to win a General Election that her opponent, who comes over as rather distant, humourless and somewhat aloof.

    This might not be the case, only someone who knows both individuals personally would know.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      “To inject some certainty that we are really to leave, we need to trigger Article 50 as soon as possible.”

      I previously pointed out the referendum Act is silent on what should ensue from a vote to leave the EU. I also pointed that under the Act there is a six week period during which legal challenges to the result can be lodged, and arguably it would be irresponsible for the government to take any irreversible action while there was still the possibility that the result could be overturned by the courts.

      What has happened is that having promised/threatening to trigger Article 50 immediately after a vote to leave the EU Cameron held back from doing so; it appears that while he was a suitable person to make that promise or threat he is not a suitable person to actually carry it out, instead that has to be the next Prime Minister some months down the line.

      Meanwhile to my knowledge there have been no legal challenges to the validity of the referendum result just as far as the numbers go, no complaints lodged about missing ballot boxes or fraudulent postal votes or miscounts. Instead there has been chatter about the result still being invalid for a variety of reasons such as the franchise not being extended to younger people (but nothing about the franchise including Irish and other foreign citizens) and misleading claims by the Leave side (but nothing about misleading claims by the Remain side), and there are now legal challenges to the right of the government to serve the Article 50 notice without the prior consent of Parliament (which would almost certainly not be forthcoming with its present membership in both Houses).

      So now the government must stay its hand over Article 50 until the courts have dismissed all the legal challenges to its prerogative power to serve the notice, with a preliminary hearing of one of them scheduled for July 19th. It seems that the six week period for challenges to the referendum result will be overtaken by a much longer period taken up with challenges to the power of the government to act upon the referendum result without any further process in Parliament.

      I don’t think these challenges should succeed, but of course judges can behave unpredictably and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that it could end up with the UK Supreme Court finding for the complainants. On the other hand if it finds for the government there could possibly be an attempt to take the case to the EU’s Court of Justice, when we would have the delight of seeing that EU court pronouncing upon our national constitution, eventually. And possibly the ECHR in Strasbourg as well, I guess that one is being held in reserve at the moment.

  33. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    We are now into establishment Project Fear 2. Having been wrong footed on the referendum they now desperately want their own candidate who will do nothing to reduce immigration.
    May will certainly agree to free movement as Gideons entire programme is based on half a million immigrants annually coming to Britain.
    The remainiacs have no interest in the problems of the NHS or schools as they don’t use them.
    Traitors the lot of them.

    • rose
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Nor do they care about the environment. They are happy to build (in theory)umpteen extra cities in England, not thinking about the sewage, the water, the rubbish, or the traffic and pollution. They don’t care about the countryside and green belt which will be lost, or the village communities and small towns which will be destroyed, just as they didn’t care about the loss of our fishing waters. They only care about GDP, not wealth per capita, let alone quality of life. This is what the Norwegians and Swiss were trying to preserve but their politicians are just as treacherous.

      • stred
        Posted July 11, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        Rose. Excellent concise summary of the problem. Let the Sadiqs of this country call this hateful or racist.

  34. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Even now Theresa May doesn’t have the guts to say outright that she couldn’t do anything about immigration numbers because of the EU. She now says she will do virtually nothing to control the numbers of people entering the UK. For goodness sake, this was one of the main features of the referendum – immigration. The people of the UK are worried sick about the consequences of immigration and yet she proposes to do nothing. As for not applying Article 50 until the new year, well words fail me. I do think we are going to be stitched up well and truly and we will never achieve Brexit but a Norwegian style and a hash up. The country needs leadership now and some decisions made. The rest of Europe is looking to the UK for a way out too. This is hardly the way to show them how to do it. Utterly disgraceful and if May gets in then UKIP stand a great chance of doing well at the next elections when the people see how they have been betrayed.

    • turboterrier
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      @ FUS

      ” Utterly disgraceful and if May gets in then UKIP stand a great chance of doing well at the next elections”

      Then some vile stuff will hit the fan for those at present in Westminster.

    • KEV
      Posted July 11, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Get a nap my friend.
      It’s all pipe dreams to cut net flow of immigrants to tens of thousands. Even UKIP doesn’t have a chance to do it, no matter how hard they try to portray themselves of being capable of doing it.

  35. forthurst
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Does Mrs May have a single original thought? There has to be a suspicion that until she has been briefed by ‘officials’, she would not have a clue; unfortunately, she inherited a department which had already been branded, “not fit for purpose” and it is likely that other departments of state fall into this category as well, so how does a clueless PM, in such circumstances, prevent the ship of state being steered onto the rocks? A reminder of the Sunday Mail article highlighting the intentional ineptitude of May and her department:

    We need a leader with ideas and the determination to see them through, which is possibly why this article in the Independent predicted a bright future for Mrs Leadsom (and highlights CMD’s eccentric worldview, common to those of his close entourage).

  36. Bert Young
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Theresa kept a reasonably low profile during the referendum campaign probably because at heart she was a eurosceptic ; as Home Secretary she got clobbered many times – let down by a weak Prime Minister . I am not a supporter to anyone who would a) delay the Brexit negotiations b) not impose immediate sanctions on migrants – no matter where they originate from and c) fail to see the benefits of a low tax regime .

    There is no doubt that Theresa does have a more experienced background in Cabinet and top level Government matters and , having suffered the Home Office job for so many years , knows how to create a more balanced team around her ; she also shows leadership qualities and a stable background , a friend of mine has also spoken of her strong Christian beliefs .

    Andrea gave convincing performances during the campaign and , at all times kept a calm composure refusing to respond to “hate” challenges . She certainly made strong statements about Brexit and left me in no doubt that she was an honest and straightforward person . Of course she lacks the top level Government experience that Theresa has but , this may be her advantage – she may be less inclined to simply follow a Party line ; certainly her lack of exposure to the PR Cameron should give her an edge on independence .

    An equally important issue now is the re-building and cohesion of the Conservative Party . Both candidates start with a clean pair of heels ( not an intended pun on Theresa ) and are intelligent enough to know how to go about this . Andrea has a good profile in Board Room matters surrounded by commercially capable and aspiring colleagues ; Theresa has bags of native intelligence and knows what it is to strive from a low profile background .

    Overall we are faced with two equally capable women who ought to do a better job than their predecessor . Both have displayed strength of character and determination and strong family values . I really don’t mind who succeeds .

  37. Tad Davison
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    For decades, there has been an obvious disparity between the views of a lot of Conservative MPs, and the wishes of traditional Tory supporters who have effectively been disenfranchised That is perhaps best typified by the attitude towards Britain’s membership of the European Union. The party has been led in a different direction, and party membership fell accordingly.

    There has just been talk on Murnaghan about a split in the Tory party. Can we have it in writing that the ‘pinkos’ like May from the ‘in’ side will finally depart and give the party back to its grass roots?

    Tad Davison


  38. Ken Moore
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Mrs May believes Sharia Law benefits Britain a ‘Great deal’.

    Why has non EU immigration, entirely within the control of the Home Office remained so high?. If voters want this sort of agenda there are plenty of party’s offering her brand of topsy turvy, politically correct rainbow politics…

    What is clear to me is that May is so left wing that she will lose more Conservative voters than she will ever pick up from the Labour side and become the next John Major.
    I would be happy to ignore UKIP and support the Conservatives again if Mrs Leadsom is elected….but I and I suspect many others will not support another Blair clone.

    I hope sensible Conservative members do the right thing and form a party that can unite common sense conservatives. Is it too much to hope we get our independence back AND a leader that believes in Britain ?

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure I can stand another two months of this.

    I might have to find some retreat with no TV or radio or internet or newspapers.

  40. McBryde
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I hope if Leadsome is chosen she will start a move to make the Pravda BBC license voluntary rather than mandatory, in that it is becoming public knowledge that the reporting is clearly not at all balanced.

  41. English Pensioner
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I see in the Mail today that the former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve (my MP) is advising Theresa May that
    ‘It’s possible that people may change their mind about this and I have to say I don’t take the view that referendums are writ in stone.’
    She’s already decided not to send the formal letter to the EU until after Christmas, all we seem to be promised from her is more and more delay.

  42. Chris S
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Just to prove that the Brussels elite have learned nothing from all the opinion polls and Brexit, look at this quote from Schulz in a joint Der Spiegel interview with Juncker :

    “There are forces in Europe that want to generally give national policy priority over a common European approach. We have to prevent this”.

    • Chris S
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      In other words :

      “On every issue, EU Policy must always take priority over the interests of the member states”

  43. Newmania
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    There is another problem . The Conservative Party is not the country . When we joined the Common Market there was a great deal of misinformation , I accept that . The vote to leave was at least as mendacious a great deal more vicious and won only very narrowly despite mutually contradictory promises and above all flat denial of the economic cost of a constitutional alternation.
    I do not accept that a referendum is sufficient mandate alone to turn the country on itself and tale prodigious risks on behalf of the half of the country who desperately wanted us to stay part of Europe .Its arbitrary nature throw up prodigious problems if taken alone and when we went in it required the consent of Parlaiment .
    Many people will wonder why we should be dragged out with a quickie divorce without the consent of Parliament and without any consideration or experience of the reality of the Brexit promise
    The referendum was turned by a 90% turnout over 65 who overwhelmingly voted Brexit became somewhat problematical when so many of these people will not even be here to suffer the consequences.
    This constituency are not economically active, and a majority of those who actually do the work cleaning up themes voted Remain.
    The way society treats the young has been well documented and by running a coach and horses through an eight year project to control debt the Nation is spending another £375 bn appx all of which will age to be paid back by the young when the old have gone .
    I am not claiming that this generation are uniquely parasitized by the previous one who , after all paid for the second world war nonetheless it makes the legitimacy of a one day vote questionable
    The majority of what you might call the middle class voted remain and the vast majority of those who have degrees and may be expected to be economically productive in a developed economy voted Remain.
    All of this means that while there was a narrow numerical victory for Brexit the power and productivity professional ability is vastly more in the Remain camp, most of whom are showing I sign of forgiving the Brexit Party. In fact the Brexit vote was channelling precisely an envious resentment between classes .What both sides of this astonishing event where 150,000 voluntary helpers decide the fact of the country is to what extent you can carry sufficient grudging consent for this plan.

  44. David Webb
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    These questions were fair and important.

    My view is that Mrs May is right not to commit just yet on the issue of EU migrants, or to trigger Article 50 without a careful planning phase over the Autumn. Such planning needs to take good account of what can go wrong – so we can recognise and react if things aren’t going exactly as we wish them to.

    Her commitment to respect the referendum result is clear – that was Conservative policy in the 2015 manifesto, and she has confirmed that at her launch, and subsequently.

    I’m surprised she didn’t set our her position on taxation, spending and borrowing, as her launch speech did cover it (albeit at a very high level)– “If before 2020 there is a choice between further spending cuts, more borrowing and tax rises, the priority must be to avoid tax increases since they would disrupt consumption, employment and investment.”

    It is not perhaps a desirable position that 150,000 Conservative members should be choosing the next Prime Minister. It may also have been better if the Parliamentary party had given party members a choice between two candidates, each with considerable government experience.

    However, the membership must now choose someone to navigate us through the tricky waters of Brexit, while dealing with our existing known problems domestically and internationally, as well as those that we don’t yet know about. I’m confident they will do it with considerable thought, and make a wise choice.

    The parliamentary party has an important role in communicating with the members (and many thanks, John, for this blog). And most importantly of all, it is essential that they work together in support of whoever wins, and to make Brexit a success. It does not matter whether they were Remainers or Leavers themselves during the campaign– they were elected on a manifesto of holding the referendum, and respecting the result.

  45. brian
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Theresa May is being cautious and is not promising anything which she is not in a position to deliver. She will make a fine Prime Minister for difficult times.

  46. Yosarion
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Just to get this straight, the leading contender is the Women who shot her own Party in the back with the Expression “The Nasty Party” and gave Her Party’s enemies in control of the the BBC and other Media outlets ammunition that they rolled out at every opportunity for years. With Judgement like that. The Country can do well without.

  47. Linda Smith
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    On 21 June 2016 Migration Watch released a Report and a Press Release, The Vanishing non EU students, which says the most significant factor in non EU net migration are c.100,000 students who have finished their studies and failed to leave the country. The Press Release also says that the Government has postponed publishing under after the Referendum the first information of the Exit checks brought in in April 2015.

    I am not surprised that Theresa May avoided answering questions on Non EU migration.

  48. ian
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Nothing much would change under home office minster, 17 years of immigration as a economic plan would carry on with low interest rates and BOE stimulus to assets prices going up with who ever is available to come in, that is to say if you cannot get EU people refugees will do and more arm force action.

    I fined it quit revealing that after the vote that both sides do not want one rule for immigrants coming to the UK and that is the rule that is in place now , that if you will not be earning more than 30,000 pounds a year you fined it hard to stay because there will be no hand outs, with 1.8 million out of work and the government wanting to fine work for the disabled to save money, 1.9 million people hear living in temporary accommodation and thousands of homeless people needing accommodation and the pressure on schools, hospitals and roads, I think this is what the people who voted for leave had in mind.
    I see this as putting two fingers up to millions of people in this country who voted for change but will up with the few at the top still calling the tune.

  49. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see how May’s answer to the third question can easily be reconciled with her answer to the second question.

    The UK government and Parliament freely granted rights to all the citizens of other EU countries, in effect saying that they could come and live here and stay for as long as they liked, they could work here and set up businesses here, and start families and raise their children and put them through school here.

    There was no time limit; it was not the case that they knew beforehand that they could only stay here for some fixed period and would be expected to leave at the end of that time; they were promised that they and their progeny could stay here forever.

    And by her answer to the third question it seems that May intends to make the same promises to all new EU immigrants; they can continue to come here under the existing rules with no time limits and no restrictions on numbers; but by her answer to the second question she leaves it open whether she will honour the promises that were made to EU immigrants who have already come here under those rules.

    That is not just shameful, it is also totally illogical.

    I’ve never concealed my strong opposition to uncontrolled unrestricted immigration from the rest of the EU and/or the rest of the world, but the fact is that those we elected to government freely gave these people promises and they should not now shame us all by an arbitrary refusal to keep those promises.

    What is she thinking? That most Tory party members have no sense of honour and will vote for a leader who gives the impression that she too has no sense of honour?

  50. John McDonald
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    The country voted for a Leave the EU Prime Minister. Therefore as the Conservative Party is presently the only organisation in the country with the authority to select the PM , then in my view they have to abide by the will of the majority and select Andrea Leadsom.
    My only experience of Theresa May’s imagination policy is the deporting of an Australian teacher from a local primary school 1 month before the end of term because she did not earn enough to keep herself in Wokingham. She had been at the school for two years. As you are all aware we are knee depth in primary school teachers and the classes are not that full so no problem to cut down on teaching staff who are easy to get anyway. The school did not think that anybody in there right mind would do such a thing and action not taken sooner to keep the teacher.

  51. treacle
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I am worried by this. Mrs May is experienced and competent, but doesn’t want to take us out of the EU. With her, we’ll end up with some half-in, half-out compromise, and things will continue as before. She’s Cameron without the charm. Mrs Leadsom, on the other hand, has the right priorities regarding the EU, but is incompetent, has no experience, gave a “major statement on the economy” that said nothing, has apparently lied on her CV, shows naivety when talking to the press, and fails even to understand that civil marriage is not the same as religious marriage. Is she just a bit thick? Either way, it seems to me, we’re sunk. I would really like to hear some evidence that Mrs Leadsom has real economic expertise and is up to the task. Perhaps the plan is for her to be Prime Minister, but leave all the EU negotiations to Mr Gove. But if she’s an idiot, it would still be extremely worrying.

  52. ian
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    British people do not receive hand outs in the majority of EU countries, if you take out 300,000 in southern Ireland which people consider as part of the british isles that only leaves 900,000 british people living in the EU and most are self employed or retired and split between many countries, so why do the government want to keep over 5 million people from the EU with most of them living on some form of hand out with free schooling and health care.

    Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    By the number-breakdown in voting of the Tory PLP, it seems they’ve done a Labour.

    Ms May like many politicians, honestly, have whole ranges of qualities, qualifications and skills.The bottom line is not who can lead the country at large but who the country is likely to vote for. In the referendum, cross-party, people voted against leaders, experts, experience, in the widest sense. Boris despite his obvious attributes has in the minds of the public an aura counter-intuitively, of non-leader, non-expert.
    Pumping the idea that Ms May has done this, achieved that, gone there, got the tee-shirt is Old Politics.
    Also no-one should believe and few do believe any Prime Minister is going to spend the next two to three years at the negotiating table in Brussels.It is way beyond their individual competence whoever they may be. And , they haven’t the time.
    Comments by long-standing Tory politicians that Ms May is “a force to be reckoned with” in Europe is dopey, daft that they patronisingly believe we British are not aware trade negotiations of infinite complexity and ramifications are done by nameless and faceless civil servants educated and trained to the purpose.Not by PMs
    So, it is purely a question of who the British people would vote for, Ms May or people who will emerge from the Labour and SNP parties at the time of the next General Election.
    Count the Scottish people out, no really, on the whole, for voting for Ms May. Count those who do not favour immigration out for voting for Ms May. Count people who did not like Mr Cameron as out.
    So, under Ms May the Tory Party at best can look forward to being a minority Party after the next General Election. So be it.

  54. David Ashton
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, would it not be wise for a significant group of Brexit Conservative MPs to agree, and convey that agreement to both candidates, that if Article 50 is not invoked by December 31st, then a leadership challenge will be mounted on the first day of play in the new year. I have no doubt that Andrea would not need that threat, but I do have doubts about Theresa. I believe she may want to drag the whole process out until next General Election and then say the result of the election gives a different mandate.

  55. Mark
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    May’s promise to appoint a senior Brexiteer is meaningless unless they are given support across cabinet. It is surely plain that she intends that the cabinet will consist of continuity Remain appointments who will do their utmost to frustrate negotiations. There needs to be much more focus on who the cabinet appointments might be under both May and Leadsom. It’s important that all departments with a significant EU involvement be supportive of sensible exit arrangements, while those that are more internally focused can be used to help provide some party unity by providing important jobs to those who supported Remain.

    Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    It may suit American political folklore to promote “A Commander-in-Chief” as future President…one having, apparently such individual power that he or she has the one finger on the nuclear button. But not for the UK. Our politics are far more mature and our people are street-wise to real politics. If such a person in political power existed in the UK somebody in his Cabinet would put a Mickey-Finn in his coffee so in his next press conference he’d come out talking like Donald Duck. Sure it’s been done at some time, given.

    So, no-one but a member of our electorate who doesn’t bother to vote anyway, is going to believe the hype of Ms May’s skills and likely performance of “steadfast leadership” in extremely boring eight-hour, six-days per week EU negotiations in Europe on trade. Ms May will not be there except for photos,- only civil servants.

    So Ms Leadsom is a real prospect for PM. Knowledgeable but not OTT. Obviously needing many other people with different knowledge-bases and skills in her Cabinet and in the Civil Service.
    It is not weakness to know your individual limitations.It is the hallmark of leadership. Colossal strength.
    A SAS officer, for example, never dies of exhaustion. He or yes she ( not heard of the Shes have you ) goes to sleep and dies peacefully before exhaustion point. Exhaustion is painful and leads to killing the wrong people.

    Ms May, in addition, is bad at what she is good at.

  57. Stephen Berry
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Here are a couple of realities post-Brexit.

    A clear majority of Tory voters wanted to leave the EU. Any Tory leader has to take note of this, whether she campaigned for Remain or Leave. If there were any attempt to rat on leaving, many of the Tory Leave voters would surely head for the door marked UKIP.

    The UK has a large current account deficit with the EU which makes it more urgent that they should strike a tariff-free deal with us. There is also the small matter of the £10 billion a year net which the UK pays into the EU. This is not chickenfeed and the EU bureaucracy will be aware of this. In my opinion, the negotiations should not be too difficult or arduous for the UK.

    What the Tories need to do it is pick the most competent person to be Prime Minister and she need not be a Brexiteer. De Gaulle was quintessentially a French patriot, but he was the one who got the French out of Algeria. No reason that someone who voted Remain could not get us out of the EU.

    Having said that, I would not rule out Mrs Leadsom at this stage. But she has to be prepared to think through an argument before she gives voice and then be prepared to defend that argument under criticism.

  58. Jack
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Is Theresa May open to “borrowing” more? I say borrowing in quotation marks because governments are creators not borrowers, and selling bonds is a political choice.

    But under our current arrangements would she support expanding the budget deficit? We desperately need that to happen.

    If you want to prove we can prosper outside the EU, we can’t continue with fiscal austerity and such a small budget deficit. There’s only three different ways we’re going to get enough aggregate demand to achieve Chinese-style GDP growth rates:

    1) if the budget deficit is massively expanded (via tax cuts or govt spending increases)
    2) a private credit growth boom (very unlikely)
    3) a trade surplus (very very unlikely)

    Clearly 1) is the only realistic option, and that’s why we need a much larger government deficit ASAP.

  59. hefner
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I would think some contributors on this site are getting a bit over themselves. To compare Andrea Leadsom’s to Margaret Thatcher is ridiculous. Before becoming PM in April 1979, Mrs T had been MP for 20 years, shadow or proper Minister for 12 years, leader of the Conservatives for 4 years. Mrs Leadsom in comparison is rather largely underqualified …
    Some might think/hope she will have a very strong Cabinet around her. It would be good to get some hints about who could get the top positions. Apart from JR as Chancellor, I am very doubtful about the names circulated in some previous posts.

  60. agricola
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    We in the UK are in a fascinating political situation. Both main political parties in the H o C are out of sync with the electorate at large and their paid up party members throughout the UK. It certainly gives credence to the accusation that there is a political bubble around Westminster that includes both politicians and press.

    The Labour party already has a leader, thanks to the paid up members, who is unacceptable to it’s members in the H o C., and quite possibly the electorate, come the hour. The Conservative party is moving towards a similar situation. There being every chance that the paid up membership will elect to the position of PM a person who is less than acceptable to the party in the H o C and certainly not to the so called grandees of the party. The same ones who double crossed Margaret Thatcher. A party with a new direction might enhance it’s chances with the electorate, who have already confirmed that they have no faith in the remain establishment.

    Should Andrea Leadson get elected, and I hope she does, be prepared for a full detachment from the EU and a refreshingly new direction for the party and UK government. After the referendum result there is no place for a diluted form of Leave dictated by all the has been grandees we heard from during the campaign. They called it badly when in office, and subsequently showed no sign of gained wisdom in the referendum. Anything less will just open the door in 2020 to a well led UKIP.

  61. turboterrier
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Is it any wonder that a large number of people are starting to have concerns about the leaving process ever being completed in such a way as we thought that we voted for.

    When you listen to Tim Farron of the Libdims on the Politics Show regarding the possibility of another referendum being part of their manifesto at the next election you have to really think of the calibre of what we have representing us in the house. The man came across as totally pathetic, but it does highlight the possible numbers within Westminster that will continue to bring about the failure of the will of the people as I am sure he is not alone.

    If the leave had lost would we have been listened to for another chance. No way never in a million years.

    My advice to all the remainers that are totally against result is:

    Get over it and support your country.
    Resign your seat and do something useful.
    Go and live in the EU.

    Nobody remembers or loves a loser.

  62. BOF
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    With Tereza Maybe it will be dull soullesness, but tretchery nonetheless untill the next election. The establishment replacing the establisment.

    Posted July 10, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    The first time I heard in person: “If you had any children of your own you wouldn’t say something so naive” followed by sniggers from 20 people was at the tender age of 22 when at the time I was pre-children and pre-matrimony.
    The 20 were of course older people ages ranging from 29 to 52, well-educated to college and degree level with professional qualifications in Business, the Health Service:, one was a doctor; one a college lecturer, an ex-CID policeman, and an assortment of professionals. Their individual IQs ranged from about 135 to 140.

    Of course Pitt the Younger learned, and it is in his famous speech to the effect, being young is a crime and necessarily makes you in the wrong.

    So it is with some disbelief when I hear Parliamentarians of stature and journalists over the age of 9 years old being professionally offended and grossly outraged by someone allegedly saying that not going through the pangs of childbirth and having the hands-on personal experience of rearing children for the rest of ones life is somehow something which is evil to mention. And the experience is not educational to the nth degree.
    Hell, in what field of our personal and working life would such an intimate, personal, dedicated and downright hard 24/7 job count for nothing in your CV?

    One would be surprised unless being of the professionally-offended class to learn Ms Leadsom’s alleged comments have gone down very well indeed in some circles.

      Posted July 10, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink


  64. Margaret
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Leadsam seems to be ok, but I don’t like all this posturing ‘ I am better than you etc’ The challenges in the Conservative party are more savoury than the Labour party though in consideration of DC’s resignation . A direct challenge to a leader who has the support of the party is wrong and whoever takes Corbyn on and wins better perform to change the world around in 6 months or they will be out.

  65. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    First we had the Remainers wailing that we old people had destroyed the future for the young generation by our referendum votes and then their wailing that Leadsom’s claim that as a mother she was in tune with the young generation was an utter disgrace as everyone, young and old, has an equal stake in the future.


    • hefner
      Posted July 11, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      A little problem here: it would seem that 60+% of the 18-35 years old voted for Remain. Andrea Leadsom’s remark was therefore not here not there, just some vacuous comment about motherhood, which I guess most male PMs or Mrs T would not have told. Mrs Leadsom, despite her brilliant (or not so brilliant) career in financial services is a light-weight, good talker, but what else?
      What exactly has she done as Minister for Energy?

    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    If it is a lie, all Theresa May has to do is to produce a photo of her kids with their faces and school blazer logos clouded out.

    • hefner
      Posted July 11, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Just an example of people writing on this blog but obviously not really following the news.

        Posted July 12, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        hefner: Lighten up dear chap.

  67. Jumeirah
    Posted July 11, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately we are stuck with 2 “‘lame ducks”. Don’t blame these two candidates – the responsibility for this lies with those eminently suited for the TOP JOB but who chose NOT to put their names forward for nomination.

    • stred
      Posted July 11, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      They shot the duck that wasn’t lame, using a decoy, and now they are have put a pike in to pull the stray lame duck down and bite its legs off.

      • stred
        Posted July 11, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Note: Written before the duck was pulled under, while quacking and gobbled up. The nature of political parties is as raw as wild life.

        This chap from the Leave side seems to know what he is talking about. Why don’t you ask the new PM to put him on the team, then do as David Davis says in his article and get on with it by the end of the year. If you don’t, the names of reversers will no doubt be remembered by the ignored members that Cameron was planning to cut out anyway. The competence and aims of the new PM will be watched and you have 2 months to have something to present to the conference.

  68. a-tracy
    Posted July 11, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Surely both candidates should be asked equally if it is to be reported in a balanced press the same questions during this campaign.

    What does Theresa May intend to do about the fox hunting controversial questioning, was it in the last manifesto to have a free vote or not? Personally I have no feelings on this issue one way or the other but people seem to be getting whipped up about it in the Guardian. These fringe issues seem to get disproportionately talked about at the moment, personally I’d prefer to know which Chancellor each candidate will wish to appoint.

    Scotland and London representatives get far too much say and sway, Scotland is smaller in residents than the NW of England, who speaks just for that region and it’s interests above all other opinions in the Union.

  69. Ian George
    Posted July 11, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    What now?

    It’s very sad to see Andrea throw in the towel like this… but what now?

    Will Mrs May appoint a Brexiteer to a senior role in the negotiation team… a Brexiteer by nature and not just in name only.

    I one way it’s good that the uncertainty (and time taken) to appoint a new leader has gone away, but with it comes so many more uncertainties.

    I do feel that the Conservative Party need to show what they’re made of now, if they are to stand any chance of winning the next General Election (whenever that may be).

    Maybe Mr Farage will decide he’s got more work to do and do another U-turn in order to keep Mrs May and her team on their toes?

  70. Rhys Jaggar
    Posted July 11, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Well, that says that her views are that Freedom of Movement remains or, at the very best, that it is an item for negotiation.

    I don’t think people voted Brexit to have 400,000 immigrants coming in 2020, you know……Mrs May may end up like Winston Churchill in 1945 if she doesn’t take that on board……

  • 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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