The last days of Mrs May

Yesterday more authority drained away from the Prime Minister. By the time she got to her Statement of her revised offer on the Withdrawal Treaty the Conservative benches were much more than half empty. Those of us who stayed explained again why we opposed her draft Treaty. The front bench contained mainly her hard core pro EU supporters, Philip Hammond, David Liddington, Amber Rudd, Greg Clark, Rory Stewart and James Brokenshire. It was a fitting visual backdrop for a Statement which failed to appeal to new votes in a Commons which has already voted it down on three separate occasions.

I gave the PM the opportunity to say something to Leave supporters around the country, explaining again to Mrs May that many who voted Leave do not regard the Withdrawal Treaty as leaving. It binds us into EU rules, payments and the rest for a further 21 to 45 months with no guaranteed clean way out at the end of that period.She had nothing to say to us. She repeated the mantra that her Agreement was leaving without tackling the strong hostility to it in the country and the obvious facts that it locks us back into making big payments, accepting all their laws and allowing freedom of movement for many more months.

I find it curious that the Cabinet has not yet moved to explain to the PM that she cannot continue. A number of the Cabinet want to run for Leader, and some are actively running proto campaigns for the role of PM. They should first remove Mrs May. It is against the spirit of decent conduct to be campaigning to replace her whilst in cabinet saying they support her and her policies. It may also make it much more difficult for any of them to win, as their first leadership task is to show they know how to secure the exit of the PM they wish to replace. By evening we got word that at last one member of the Cabinet resigned because she could not go along with the Withdrawal Treaty Bill after all.Still we are not allowed to see the Bill, so worried is the government about it.

If Mrs May somehow manages to struggle on into June and puts her Withdrawal Agreement Bill to the vote, those who vote for it will demonstrate they do not understand the mood of the nation or the nature of task of rebuilding support for the government.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Exactly – her W/A is not leaving indeed it is even worse than remain.

    • formula57
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

      The potent threat now is that those who replace T. May and her cabal will still be in thrall to the Evil Empire and so go along with far too much of what the quislings had planned.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogic–Did anyone work out or decide whether, if we were to end up remaimimg (perish the thought), Article 50 would continue to apply? I ask because I seem to remember someone opining that Article 50 could not be used twice. Nonsense as usual one hopes but would be crucial and even the prospect is really scary. Not much fun for the EU either but then I have never understood why (de Gaulle had it right) they haven’t helped us leave rather than being as negative and unhelpful as possible. Mind you there’s a lot I don’t understand such as why when we offered an FTA we didn’t bite their elbow off.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

        were offered

    • Richard1
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      That is indeed the point, it is worse than remaining. If it or anything like it goes through I’m for another referendum so as to be able to vote Remain (actually I’d probably abstain but id want Remain to win).

      • jerry
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        @Richard1; If it was a choice between Remain or the WA, of course who would not vote to retain our voting rights within the EU! But what if the choice was between the WA and a WTO exit?

    • Ken Mannion
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      It is leaving. It is also worse than remaining. It is also the best Brexit you are gonna get. Who is it holds all the cards? Not the UK. Time to call the buccaneering Brexiters to account

      • Stred
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        As the EU and quisling plan, from the start. Please use English English. Gonna is American. Presumably you learned it in the US like many Belgian and Dutch EU employees.

        • crazyTimes
          Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          Stred- maybe Ken Mannion is American after then he can use ‘gonna’ if he so wishes..even if he’s not American he can still use it- it’s a free country for the moment-

          On another note- it now look’s like government is going to allow one of the last remaining steel mills in the country to close down and this at the very same time that we are going to need more and more large ocean going ships to suit our new WTO rules trade patterns- this for an island nation of 60 million- crazy times- crazy political leaders. still talking about the cross channel ferry trade as if things will remain the same with the EU-

    • Andy
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Your answer is half right.

      The withdrawal agreement is leaving but it is clearly worse than remain.

      Now you admit that reality Brexit is worse than EU membership and will hugely harm the prospects of your children and grandchildren perhaps you would like to vote again. Oh, no, wait. You’re not allowed. Tough.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Hi Andy…I had rather hoped your forlorn wailing in the wilderness would cease, but like Mrs M, its like dog’s whatsit, shake your foot and it is still there, clinging to your shoe. You did spot what most of the country spotted ie. this WA is worse than staying in the fraudulent little German/French club. However, just leaving is going to be far better, which is what the majority asked for. We can join the talking shop to consider any trade arrangements after that, which in essence is what the PD is about anyway.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Interesting statistic that only 1% of UK adults have ever taken advantage of freedom of movement to live and work in the EU and that includes all those pensioners in Spain who we can ignore because they are old eh Andy ? The figure for Romanians ? 20%

      • John Hatfield
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Spin it as you like Andy, the Withdrawal Agreement is not leaving. And my grandchildren will be far better off free of EU servitude.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      The Telegraph’s opinion is: Theresa May must go now! This is a national emergency!

      Personally, I would never have chosen her in the first place, and feel we have been in the midst of a national emergency ever since she took office. The chance was missed at that very moment to put in place a solid Brexiteer rather than a sordid remainer.

      Theresa May only ever had one intention, and that was to kill Brexit, as evidenced by her actions throughout, whilst simultaneously telling everyone that she would see it through.
      But she’s not alone in employing that devious device. Many other so-called ‘Conservatives’ have been equally duplicitous, and range in rank from junior back-bench MPs to senior cabinet ministers. The disease is rampant.

      Choosing my words with care on what could be a very auspicious occasion, the Conservative party must now rid itself of her and her kind. It must become the party of principle and honesty, or founder upon the rocks of adversity. This could be a mammoth task given every dirty deed that has gone before and countless numbers warned what would happen if this subterfuge went unchecked.

      etc ed

      • APL
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Tad Davidson: “Choosing my words with care ..”

        JR: etc ed

        Not carefully enough, Mr Davidson. 🙂

        • Tad Davison
          Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          I haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. I didn’t do too well in advanced mind-reading. (oh, and there is no second D)

    • Oldrightie
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Which was always the very point the EUSSR required.

  2. oldtimer
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that May and her die hard supporters in the Cabinet, on the government payroll and on the back benches are doing all they can to frustrate Brexit. They will do so as long as possible up to and including a fracture within the Conservative party as presently constituted. They will never support a “hard-line” leaver as party leader and PM, such as Boris Johnson. UK politics will not be the same again.

    • cornishstu
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      From what I read in the spectator today regarding Boris, his idea is to try and negotiate the removal of the backstop which still leaves the WA toxic in my view and not really leaving. Only if they will not negotiate will he go for leave on WTO terms,

    • Steve
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink


      “They will never support a “hard-line” leaver as party leader and PM, such as Boris Johnson. UK politics will not be the same again.”

      Right on both counts, sir.

      However if they elect another remainer, there will be unimaginable consequences. Certainly it will hit the streets. There’ll be one hell of a punch up.

  3. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    I believe the deluded woman will hang on. And as I have written the cabinet members have sacrificed all authority they may claim for themselves by hanging in with May. Can they not see what hypocrites they are? Everyone else can.

    Just proves what depths of moral corruption the Tories are prepared to demonstrate. Bring on their destruction. The good will need to go down with the bad; all are complicit in one way or another.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    As Allister Heath puts it in the Telegraph today.

    “Mrs May is the epitome of all that is wrong with British politics. The rise of the Brexit Party has changed everything and the PM must be forced out of office immediately.”

    His article is spot on, May has been a disaster in almost every way. It will not be easy to repair the damage and avoid Corbyn but it can be done. The country is crying out for a clean Brexit and a real small government, low tax, cheap energy Conservative party. Instead of one led by incompetent, pro EU socialists.

  5. Pominoz
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    You, and the ‘few’ must be totally exasperated. She is not prepared to admit she is listening – perhaps she would feel that was show of weakness at this stage. I do get the feeling however that she does know her end is nigh. Today would be acceptable.

    Good luck with finding the ‘right’ new leader. Make sure you personally play a significant part in the future government if you possibly can. Your stable presence may just persuade a few more to have a little faith in the Conservative Party.

    • agricola
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Were our host to become a minister again it would be almost impossible for this diary to continue. Lets be careful what we wish for.

      • Pominoz
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink


        Totally understand your view – but better we all do without this, which would be greatly missed, than the UK missing out on a mind which can contribute to making Britain great again.

  6. McBryde
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Sorry about the typos: “and what (why) she cried”

  7. Mark B
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    What an absolute shambles !

    The government should have been committed, as promised, to getting us out of the EU. Instead Conservative MP’s seem more concerned with using BREXIT to further their own ambitions. At this rate of decent I can see politics going so low it will eventually come out the other side.

    People like myself do not care who gets the top job. We know it will not change a thing as it is parliament as a while that does not want to Leave. We’re not stupid and changing Captains after hitting the iceberg will not save you.


  8. Ian wragg
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    She will still be there in June. Mark my words.

    • Steve
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink


      I tend to agree, she’s now delaying matters until after the Whitsun break. No explanation – zilch.

      She’s playing for time……some spiteful trick must be suspected.

      And who do we have to thank?……..the spineless 1922 committee.

      • Oggy
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        Steve I have to agree, we can be sure she will be up to something, no doubt plotting her next underhand devious move.

    • Butties
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Which year would that be Ian?

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Which June?? That’s the worry.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      She will still be there in October.

      The parliamentary numbers make it unattractive for a trie politician looking to propely leave the EU to go for it fully and those wishing to remain shackled can not stick their heads above the parapet.

  9. formula57
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Your parliamentary colleagues who still support May the quisling might consider: –

    First the local councillors were sacrificed, but I was not a local councillor so I did nothing;

    Then the MEPs were sacrificed, but I was not an MEP so I did nothing;

    Finally we MPs were sacrificed, but by then there was no-one left to do anything to save us.

    (With apologies to the original format, applied to very much more serious and sombre events.)

  10. GilesB
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party’s governance has utterly failed in all three of its purposes:

    – maintenance of unity and harmony within the party
    – development and promotion of policies and programmes for the good of the UK and its people
    – winning and keeping the trust and confidence of the UK electorate and citizens

    Denial will never repair it.

    The Party needs a very large portion of humble pie and a total shake up of governance.

    If the party can’t govern itself, how can it expect to be trusted to govern the country

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. What the shenanigans over Brexit have shown us is what a bunch of duplicitous and incompetent political pygmies we have in Government. Correction – in parliament. To think they make the decisions that affect us all. The only thing they seem good at is fiddling their expenses as (named MP dd) showed us last week – they’re still at it – helping themselves to taxpayers’ money. All within the rules of course.

  11. Dominic
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    May’s finished and her autocratic reign will soon be over. She’s damaged our party beyond repair. Her embrace of liberal left authoritarianism and her use of identity politics strategy to impose oppressive social control upon those she considers abhorrent is pure Labour politics. It is abhorrent, deliberate and offensive.

    Climbing into bed with Corbyn, Lammy and other Marxist and social identity warriors was not only disturbing but discriminatory in the extreme.

    Her use of the ‘white, old men’ moniker to slander Tory Eurosceptic MPs will not be forgotten and is evidence of a Tory party that’s become obsessed with the politics of feminism as a tool of political destruction

    I will not be slandered by a female PM because of my gender and skin colour. This is what May’s dragged this party towards

    Understand the damage this vile PM’s inflicted on our party and our nation

    Thatcher declared she was not a Feminist but a Meritocrat. May threw meritocracy into the gutter and embraced the new orthodoxy of liberal left oppression and cultural Marxism

    We need another Thatcher to reignite our nation and depoliticise its people and release them from the grip of identity politics

    • Timaction
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Out with leftist PC nonsense and a return to meritocracy. We all know whats happened to our public services, health and Council provision since the idiots were promoted beyond their ability!

  12. Shirley
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    She should have been removed the day she blindsided her own Ministers with Chequers, and demanded they approve it or resign.

    It was a secretive manipulative dictatorial act against the country, her own Ministers, her party, and Parliament.

    That day showed us exactly how she would destroy Brexit, and Parliament allowed her to carry on!

    • Steve
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


      Even before chequers, when it was announced that EU law was to be enshrined into UK law………it was clear then the woman was a wrong-un.

    • Butties
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      No Shirls, it showed us how shallow her ministers were (and remain so).
      As a matter of principle some, at Chequers, should have resigned and walked to the front Gate (no Ministerial cars allowed for those with principles). None did.

      One who failed to follow such principles, subsequently voted for the Mayhem WA and now positions himself as the new ‘leader’.

      TBP and WTO. You know it makes sense?

  13. Duyfken
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    The Cabinet members should indeed be vilified but at fault also are all those remaining on the payroll. None who has stayed to continue support of May is worthy of their position held.

    Mrs May has inflicted severe damage to the interests of our country. She has made dreadful mistakes but I consider none has been as catastrophic as that one mistake made by her parents.

  14. Fed up with the bull
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Well said John. If it weren’t for honest, upstanding men like yourself in the party we would be done for. I now see why you are loathed to leave the party. You have a voice and a vote and it has stopped this dreadful WA going through. Well done. Now let’s get a true Brexiteer for PM and get rid of this dire cabinet we have.

  15. agricola
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    The time has come, not so much for the grey suits of the 1922 to remove her, but the white suits of some other suitsble body. Her symptoms of myopia and blank mindedness remind me of the level of conversation one gets as a customer when talking to the computer of a supplier wishing no customer contact. ” Please do not reply to this email.”
    Please do what is necessary and do it quickly. Your disperate party may deserve it, but the country does not. We played our part in June 2016, giving very clear instructions.

  16. Yorkie
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Brokenshire is a good name for a Remainer

  17. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Little people work on little lines. So to them it makes sense that the person “who wields the dagger” loses all chance of becoming leader.
    Big people look at their country and ask what their country needs. Then they get on and do it.

  18. Yorkie
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    ..”no guaranteed clean way out at the end of that period.

  19. Caterpillar
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Curious that the cabinet has not yet moved, but the remainers still sit supporting the PM and Mr Gove, a significant contributor to the cause of Mrs May’s premiership, bides his time. On the backbenchers Mr Grieve waits, prepared to do anything (again) to stop democracy.

    A change of leadership is necessary, but escaping this mess seems unlikely.

  20. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I think the cabinet has not explained to her that she must resign because she’s refusing to meet them. I think at this point her main aim is to exceed Gordon Brown’s term in office – that is early next week ? When you get rid of her you should also institute a vote of no confidence in the 1922 committee which has made themselves a laughing stock with their inept bungling and ineffectiveness. I imagine the priority now for most Tory MPs is to keep Boris off the members leadership ballot thus further enhancing the Brexit Party appeal, really the death wish of those Tory MPs is puzzling.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I honestly think stopping Brexit is more important to them than the survival of the Tory party. I voted for the Brexit party today and unless Boris or Dominic replace May, and deliver a true Brexit, I will keep voting for them.

  21. APL
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Hopefully, this dishonest, untrustworthy, Prime minister resigns soon.

    Don’t replace her with another Remainer! Throwing a sop to the likes of Ken Clarke, doesn’t pacify them. Clearly, it doesn’t unite the party, either.

  22. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    IMVHO None of the following mentioned would be acceptable as Tory leader: Philip Hammond, David Liddington, Amber Rudd, Greg Clark, Rory Stewart and James Brokenshire.
    They are hardline remainers and have done the country one disservice after another, the latest as shown by not removing May and being supportive of her.
    It is quite likely that the above names and quite a few others will face deselection at the next GE, which they truly deserve – It’s just a shame that royal prerogative has been so watered down that the Queen could not get involved and force a solution on this wasteful government.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Bryan, I agree but Gove, Leadsom and Mordaunt have to be added to that list. All ‘Brexiteers’ until they got their Ministerial cars and a seat at the cabinet table. They have supported May and her rotten treaty ever since.

  23. sm
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I keep thinking that had we been presented with the scenario of the last 2 years in a ‘serious’ movie or a TV drama, both critics and audience would be ridiculing the story line as utterly unbelievable or beyond parody.

  24. What Tiler
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    JR:- rebuilding support for the government.

    I think that ship has sailed JR, at this point for any decent member of the Conservative and Unionist party I think it’s “sauve qui peut”.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      I tend to agree..

      I will always be looking for other options ahead of voting conservative in the future.

      Fortunately I wish at best latst 30 years

  25. Everhopeful
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    All so very disappointing and distressing.
    When Leave won all those stressful eons ago it was a glorious night.
    The govt soon snatched even that moment from us in a cascade of rubbish.
    This is not the world I thought I inhabited.

    And guess what? I wonder WHY I was law abiding and tax paying and govt believing??? Why? Through my trusting years successive govts trespassed shamelessly on my goodwill and obedience.

  26. APL
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    George Osborne former ‘Tory’ chancellor has endorsed the Liberal Democrats in the European Elections. You could have knocked me down with a feather!

    “That leaves the door open to the Liberal Democrats. They had the courage from the start to say the referendum result was a mistake – and Britian needed to think again. As a result, voters have started to think about them again. We wish them well.”

    This was the guy who was at the centre of Tory policy making.

    Reply The Standard is not necessarily Osborne’s own view or action

    • Fred H
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      APL….reply from Sir John…..then Osborne took that job and others just for the money -very principled.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know who wrote that piece but “courage” is a strange word to choose. They had/have the indecency, disrespect and misplaced arrogance to stand against democracy. It is behaviour like the LibDems and those who support them that have truly broken democracy, it is so despotic to say the voters, the people and democracy are wrong. It feels nasty to say this, but the LibDems are to be despised.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Joined like minded friends.

  27. Everhopeful
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    This chilling lack of concern for the fate of the Tory Party on the part of the govt.
    What on earth is it all about?

  28. Nigl
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Leadsoms resignation letter sums it up perfectly. Not leaving, not in line with your manifesto and secret decisions being taken without consultation.

    What better example of power corrupting can there be?

  29. BOF
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    And just what does it say about the Cabinet. I do not see one who is now fit to become Prime Minister.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      BOF…..reports this afternoon suggest she has refused meetings with Cabinet members. Their response should be ‘ meet me today, else I resign in time for the 6pm news’.

  30. DaveM
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, with £75m and a pair of balls, the government could have saved thousands of jobs and a strategic asset whilst at the same time showing real intent.

    Instead, it shafted its own people and gave £31m to the EU.

    Is it any wonder Nigel’s soaring like an eagle?

  31. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I do hope that you and your fellow Tory MPs remember the inaction and subterfuge of cabinet colleagues when choosing who to back for the next leader.

  32. Richard1
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Dear oh dear it really would have been much better to get rid of mrs may when it first became clear how useless she is: after the 17 election, after the backstop capitulation, after the chequers Brino plan. Brexit supporting Conservative MPs must I’m afraid take some responsibility for leaving this patently inadequate individual to remain in the critical position of PM.

    I suggest very careful thought and consideration over who now takes over. It’s not only about the new leader giving vocal support to Brexit. It’s also about how will they operate, do they have the intellectual confidence to work with colleagues in a collegiate way as Mrs May has not? are they capable of coherent response to hostile interviews as Mrs May is not? Do they have clear and sensible ideas for policies to beat the Marxists, as Mrs may has not? Etc etc. I know this is obvious but last time this didn’t happen. The candidature of Mrs Leadsom was preposterous. Please get it right this time.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      It became clear how useless Mrs May is some time before the events you name – maybe the last straw should have been when she told the Tory Conference they were the ‘Nasty Party’ – having won several elections on the trot!

  33. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    The ERG have played a blinder! By some miracle the Brexiteer Corbyn has also. Thank God between you the massive Remain majority in the House have been denied a victory. Special enduring gratitude to those who held the line 3 times to defeat Theresa’s Treacherous Treaty.
    Now we need to change things so that we can attempt a WIN!
    Been to vote to send the message – people running to the polls in Northumberland with a spring in their step! We are united in defending our historic and hard won right to sack our lawmakers!

  34. RAF
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Isn’t May’s and her Remain supporting acolytes’ behaviour the perfect example of the Westminster bubble? Comfortably ensconced away from the everyday concerns of the people they are supposed to represent and basically ignoring the groundswell of the people’s opinions, hopes and wishes.

    From the moment Martin Howe QC’s analysis of the Withdrawal Agreement was published it became clear that May’s “deal” was not in the best interests of the UK. How could it be when it would leave the UK as a colony/vassal of the EU and subject to that body’s malign control. In fact, that wretched document is so awful it’s impossible to understand how any patriotic Briton could support it: and yet we have a Cabinet, including some claiming Leaving credentials, who apparently endorse it and seem to be unconcerned with the pitfalls that many expert and learned people, including Sir William Cash and our host, have exposed.

    The first action of May’s successor must be to tell the EU unequivocally that the WA is dead, it is no more, it is an ex-WA. Such action will show the EU, and more importantly the British people, that the person in charge now places the UK first and will argue and negotiate from that first principle. No more begging for what we can have, no more utter surrender and certainly no more hurried early hours of the morning flights to Brussels when summoned by unelected bureaucrats.

    Mrs May’s tenure in No 10 will surely be used in studies as the perfect example of how not to govern a modern country and certainly how not to influence the people and carry them with you on your political journey.

    PS The EU must be told to forget any idea of controlling our armed forces, security or intelligence services.

  35. Mel
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink


  36. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Makes a complete mockery of her strap line used at the last election of “Strong and Stable Government”

    Far from being strong and stable, she is a loose cannon, and now dangerous.

    Remember the Dementia tax statements she made during that campaign which robbed the Conservatives of any chance of a majority, she still does not understand why that was so punitive to so many.

    Now she talks about second referendums and Customs unions.

    Agree with your comments about Cabinet members.

    Either you support her and remain, or you do not and Leave, bit like the EU really, no half measures.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Alan, ,….she’s proven weak and unstable, and those with any sense of respect walked away from her disasterous so called government.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Chequers was for me at least, a watershed moment.

  37. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I saw you ask your question yesterday. The structure of asking questions in Parliament is absurd. You asked. She parroted a meaningless load of nonsense. But you are not allowed to respond with ‘So you have nothing to say to the 17.4 million who voted to leave. You say your treaty means we leave the EU. No-one in the country agrees with you. Yet you persist as if you merely saying something makes it true! Is this delusion or megalomania?’

    But you are not allowed to respond to her lack of response! At the moment a PM is only ever properly questioned if they deign to go on a TV debate before an election. And even then they’ll probably choose the BBC one to avoid persistent questioning. I’d love to see May questioned by Andrew Neill.

  38. Mel
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Not to worry though folks, all is well the Queen was in Sainsbury’s yesterday looking at a self service till. And the Commodore commanding our aircraft carrier has been flown off for using his company car for other than company business. I hope he disclosed that to the I.R as a taxable benefit.
    The rest of the world must think we are bloody bonkers.

  39. Fred H
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    It has now become quite sad that a UK PM is so far from reality, that hanging on to office when all about them is in tatters and the people of all the continent of Europe are laughing at them. So much for a calm, dignified leaving of office.

  40. Oggy
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Her tenure must be very close to the end.
    I know she is very stubborn but surely even she must now realise the game is up after the reception in the HoC of her new ‘improved and bold deal’, which has no chance of passing. Ms Leadsom has also resigned.
    Today the Government is going to get a drubbing in the EU elections.
    For God’s sake woman just go.

    • L Jones
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Is she playing for time for some obscure (as yet) reason?

  41. stred
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    It’s like watching an incompetent dentist trying to drill out an inflected molar. One of your number thinks it would be a good idea to replace the molar with Supergreen Gove. The polling station should be open by now. It’s too late Mrs Leadsom. The rot has set in.

  42. Julie Dyson
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Mrs May seems to be under the mistaken impression that she and her “loyal stalwarts” are evincing some sort of heroic, indomitable Dunkirk Spirit against all the odds. She couldn’t be more wrong.

    It’s rather more like the ancient Roman siege of Masada (but without the nobility or strength of character) — stuck on a mountaintop, surrounded on all sides by a growing and overwhelming hostile force baying for blood, and with absolutely nowhere to go.

    It will probably end pretty much the same, too… figuratively speaking, of course.

  43. Peter
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    May keeps going, regardless of the damage she is doing.

    Scorched earth?

    The reputation of the 1922 committee for efficiently handling the replacement of leaders is shattered.

  44. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s epithet: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s party for one’s friends in the EU.

  45. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    ..and the last days of the Tory Party.

  46. Ian
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    From the outset of TM’s leadership of a once sincere proud Conservative Party the aim has been clear in everything, she has done that the aim was to hinder and frustrate so as to ensure we stay under EU control. We have to stay so as not endure her continual lying, how positive is that.

    The real result it is the Conservative Party as a whole has been destroyed. Those in the cabinet have shown themselves as part of the collective responsibility to be equally culpable. The cabinet were insulted and demeaned all along which came to its peak at the Chequers charade.

    All this at a time when the Labour Party has been at it weakest and most dangerous to the future of the UK.

    The Conservative Party in having this type of leadership is saying to the people this is who we are.

  47. ChrisS
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    This latest turn of events is the most worrying of all. For Mrs May to contemplate facilitating a second referendum and making it legally binding when the first one was not is beyond comprehension.

    We can only assume it comes from some demented view that the offer of a referendum in the bill will be so attractive to Labour that they will vote for it. All it has done is cause a cabinet revolt ( at last ) and alienate 80% of Conservative MPs and every leave voter in the country. Most, like me, were planning on voting for the Brexit Party, anyway, so I suppose that won’t make much difference – for today.

    But it’s proof, if any were needed, that Mrs May has now completely lost the plot.

  48. JoolsB
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I keep saying it John but it says a lot about the current parliamentary party that May is still in post. Utterly spineless is one way of describing them. One thing is for certain if the party is to stop Corbyn forming the next Government that her successor must be a Brexiteer and it must exclude every single member of the cabinet including Gove, Mordaunt and Leadsom, in fact especially Gove, Mordaunt and Leadsom all of whom have backed her and her rotten treaty. How opportunist of Leadsom to resign now when she knows May’s number is up and obviously hers with it.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps it’s time for Farage to do a Boris(Yeltsin that is!)-acquire a tank,load up with a few crates of brown ale and on,straight through the Downing St security cordon.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink


      I see it is being reported that Mr Gove will be putting his name forward for PM

      If ever someone who had a chance 3 years ago and had burnt all his boats it is him.
      Supporting the May Surrender document all the way through, knowing it is not Brexit proper, and he thinks he is fit to be a leader, yet another who is completely deluded.
      Plus who would trust him after his Cameron and Boris moves.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t trusted Michael Gove since I read this article in June 2004:

        “Immigration should be about money not blood”

        £10,000 would buy almost anyone UK citizenship, no limit on numbers; and after all:

        “It is only a little more than Chinese migrants are willing to pay to be
        smuggled in by snakehead gangs.”

        More recently, November 2018:

        “Mr Gove

        You were on TV slavishly following the present government line by falsely claiming that Theresa May’s Brexit “deal” would end freedom of movement of persons.

        So precisely where does it say that freedom of movement of people will be ended?

        Nowhere, not in the legally binding withdrawal agreement nor in the non-binding political declaration. If you think otherwise, please specify the relevant articles.

        In fact the exact opposite is true, her deal is necessary to PROLONG freedom of movement of persons … “

      • Fred H
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Alan…..anyone who thinks he should get a post in a new Cabinet is allowing a nest of snakes into the room.

  49. javelin
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The PM was tweeting about Plastic Straws yesterday.

    • MickN
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      ….and clinging to every single one of them.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Quote of the day !

      • Wokingham Mum
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        You just made me laugh out loud, whole room looking at me

    • Al
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      As in clinging to or breaking camel’s backs?

  50. ukretired123
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s face on front page headlines yesterday looked like she had either
    swallowed a fly or her WA
    Eaten her porky pies or her hat
    or had a dose of Brexit reality milk shakes.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Mrs Leadsom’s resignation letter is known in business as a CYB – Cover your back letter to absolve and deflect the blame to someone else – jump when the game is up.

      She all too lately agrees with Sir John in her point #1 WA lacking Sovereignty and #2 Second Referendum too divisive #3 Undue haste in legislative procedures and #4 as Sir John had already noted an unconvinced Cabinet – whose mandate was to leave the EU.
      The window dressing around these points is also a well-known ‘I’ll be leaving you now Sir/Madam’ and privileged to serve etc whilst making the plus points for a CV.

  51. Iain Moore
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Not only has May been shown to be useless, but the Cabinet, Brady and the 1922 Committee as well. All the checks and balances have failed. The Cabinet has sat there and had May lie to them, and done nothing, Brady and the 1922 Committee watched as the Government implodes and the Party and electoral support collapse, and also done nothing. I always thought politicians had a heightened sense of self preservation, but the current lot of Conservative MPs can’t even be bothered to save their own necks. The current shambles shows they really don’t deserve to exist. for rather than recognise the desperate situation they are in, what do we hear they are up to? Oh they are playing silly little games trying to sabotage leadership hopefuls prospects. Strewth!

  52. James Bertram
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Sir John, no one in the Cabinet, including Andrea Leadsom, is fit to be the next Tory leader (and presumably PM until the next GE). Having been instrumental in keeping May in power long after her sell-by date, damaging this country in the process, their resignations are long overdue.
    A new broom sweeps clean.
    Priti Patel, Steve Baker, and yourself (Chancellor?) are far better choices.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      James….. not a bad trio to start with.

  53. Newmania
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Its amazing the amount of venom directed by Conservatives at Ms May. If one allows that ending Freedom of Movement and delivering Brexit were non negotiable ( which I do not )- quite what else anyone thought would emerge defeats me .
    She is clearly a decent person with a deep attachment to the country and I cannot help but feel a bit sad at the spectacle of her humiliation
    Came across this old poem By Roger McGough ..


    I wanted one life
    You wanted another
    We couldn’t have our cake
    So we ate eachother.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Newmania….I don’t what you take on a daily basis, but I should stop now while there is still hope for your sanity.

    • Steve
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink


      “She is clearly a decent person”

      YOU WHAT ?!

    • Ginty
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      A serial liar.

    • matthu
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      “with a deep attachment to the country?”

      Did you notice the shoes she was wearing when delivering her bold new deal? Painted in the design of the EU flag. That shows her true attachment.

  54. Shieldsman
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Today once again we are participating in the EU’s mock democracy, the Brussels/Strasbourg Parliament.
    I am afraid that many of our MP’s and organizations such as the CBI (with its lobbyists) either do not know or care who runs the the EU.
    Much has been written by facts4eu and today Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph reminds us where the power lies.
    Our pathetic politicians are allowing the Commission to dictate that we cannot leave the EU. We have to pay to negotiate a new (vassalage) Treaty on their terms with no positive end in site. The terms even ensure we end up in a Customs Union.

    • Steve
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink


      Mock democracy or not, I suspect the reason why the majority go to the ballot box on this occasion is purely to kill off the Conservative party.

  55. Rhoddas
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Agreed Sir John… all she will be remembered for is her ignominy….

    Definition of ignominious. 1 : marked with or characterized by disgrace or shame : dishonorable. 2 : deserving of shame or infamy : despicable. 3 : humiliating, degrading an ignominious defeat.

  56. libertarian
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Its hilarious watching the weasels line up to be Captain of the Titanic

    *****GAME OVER *****

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      A leaky tramp steamer more like!

  57. libertarian
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    NOT ONE, not none aspiring tory leader and by default PM has stood up and shown any leadership, vision, principle, attempt to heal a ruptured party. NOT ONE

    The Conservative Party has died and good riddance

  58. jerry
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Having read Andrea Leadsom’s resignation letter all I can say is, I totally agree with her, she is obviously an honourable lady (unlike her (ex)boss). I say this as someone who in the past has criticised her.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Why now? She could have written that letter months ago. Could it be she knows May’s time is up and that means the cabinet as well.

      • jerry
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        @JoolsB; Why now? I guess because cabinet collective responsibility has completely broken down. In usual times it would be the Minster who broke that collective responsibility who either resigns of is sacked, but when it’s the PM I guess normal rules can’t apply…

    • Richard1
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Possibly so but she isn’t a credible candidate to be PM

    • Mark
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      She has scored a notable victory through her resignation: May is no longer bringing forward the WAB. It looks as though May will leave without a deal.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      But why go along with this putrid outrage of the WA handcuff for so long?

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      She’s been a good Leader of the House. I hope that the new leader has the good sense to give her a ministry.

  59. DaveK
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Hopefully meetings have been held with those that faltered last time. At least one whose standing has plummeted in the public view.

  60. graham1946
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The reason the Cabinet want her to hang on is because they will be out of a job when she goes. None of them is up to the job of PM and they want to keep their ministerial pay and perks and build up their pensions until the last minute. When she does go, they will still get another couple of months high on the hog whilst an interminable leadership election takes place. I’d be surprised if any new leader worth his/her salt would keep any of this ineffectual useless lot, who have proved they cannot run their departments and merely blame Brexit for their shortcomings. The fact that such a large crew can only handle one thing at a time is proof of their hopelessness.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Nail, head, hit.

  61. Mark
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    It is long past time that Conservative MPs should have walked over the LINO.

  62. Dennis Zoff
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    ……”It may also make it much more difficult for any of them to win, as their first leadership task is to show they know how to secure the exit of the PM they wish to replace”

    The first question that should be put forward to each prospective PM candidate:

    “What are your proposals to take the UK out of the EU on WTO terms?”

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Totally agree, the next PM has to take us out of the EU on WTO terms and withdraw our Art50 extension immediately i.e no more negotiating till after we have left

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink


      Agreed the new PM should start at the beginning with Brexit again, and not even try to include any part of May’s deal as its dead in the water and needs to be buried.

      The best place to start is to tell the EU we are leaving on WTO terms, and if they want to talk about trade, the door at no 10 is open, and they can come here.

      We need to get back control and fast.

  63. BillM
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    This become another of those stories with the tag, “You couldn’t make it up”.
    It has become an embarrassing farce not merely for the position of British Prime Minister but for the whole country.
    Britain is looking very stupid on the world stage and it is all down to Mrs May and her sycophantic Cabinet.

  64. BR
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I see that she has now pulled the Bill, since you wrote your piece. Thankfully.

    I suspect a few of the Leavers who stayed in Cabinet stayed (or will say that they stayed) because leaving means opening up yet another seat for a remainer. The previous resignation of a junior minister saw arch-remainiac Rory Stewart promoted into Cabinet.

    When the this is true or simply politicians playing the spin game, I cannot tell, but there may be some truth in it (it would be interesting to see your take).

    However, when I look at the so-called leavers in Cabinet I see nothing to like. Fox seems dead set against WTO. Gove seems like a remainer plant – I am shocked that he is still invited to ‘pizza club’ etc meetings, they may as well have them on a BBC programme.

    Leadsom allowed May a coronation. The ridiculous pretext of her comments about motherhood are all too clearly artificial – so small a transgression that her career easily recovered and lo and behold… next thing you know, she’s Leader of the Commons. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that for what it is.

    I have my doubts over Boris as well to be honest. He is probably the only one who could win an election for here (although without Linton Crosby, perhaps not). What concerns me is his political naivete and the fact that he had to go and think about which side he was on. Is he really a Leaver? Even if he is, does he have what it takes to get a proper Brexit over the line?

    In the end, there are probably no guarantees, but he is probably the only horse worth backing as the only one with a chance to do all that is needed to get a real from of Brexit through.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      The Establishment have finally realised the PM IS a busted flush. They need a new WA salesman and, Alexander Johnson MP fits the bill.

  65. Chris
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    The usual dithering and indecisiveness of the Tories? These two tweets by Tom Newton Dunn demonstrate the problem:

    “Where we currently are, says one senior Tory: “Cabinet want the ‘22 to do her in, the ‘22 want Cabinet to. Both sides want to avoid the optics of a pack of men picking on a woman”.

    “Also, I’m told the PM is about to begin a mini-Govt reshuffle to appoint a new Commons Leader and back fill their old position. Big No10 effort underway to look like the show is still on the road”.

    • Chris
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Plus this tweet from Tom N D:

      “No10 confirms May’s WAB U-turn, saying “she is listening to colleagues”. But no resignation statement planned. Instead: “She will have further discussions with ministers later today”. ie, she still thinks she can stay”.

  66. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Today in the Commons the Shadow Leader Valerie Vaz condemned “Brexit paralysis” and claimed that “red lines which never changed” had “brought us to this position”. But in fact the opposite is true; if Theresa May had stuck with what she originally said in her Lancaster House speech then she would have retained the support of the DUP and pro-Brexit Tory MPs and we would not have have got into the present mess.

  67. Christine
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I do feel for you, Sir John. It must be heartbreaking to see the damage May and her Cabinet have wrought on your party. I can only suggest you put in someone like Duncan-Smith as interim leader until you have cleared the Augean stables of anyone who voted for the WA. Only MPs like you who have consistently voted against the WA can hope to rebuild trust in the Conservative Party but it will be a Herculean task. I hope you are up to it but I wouldn’t blame you at all if you turned your back on the CP and joined The Brexit Party.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I would hope the Brexit party wouldn’t accept ANY Tory MP defectors – it would toxify the party and put off Labour leavers from supporting them. Look how the CUK party started as a coherent Blairite Labour alternative on a reasonable poll rating until they let in three squabbling toxic Tories who have destroyed them.

      • Simeon
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        It’s an interesting point. JR, and a few others within the Conservative party, could clearly have something to offer to a new political party with the intention of championing liberty and competence. But maybe that contribution would be best made behind the scenes. Whether fairly or not, the Tory brand alienates portions of the electorate. And of course in recent times has made huge strides in alienating anyone capable of thinking clearly – regardless of which direction one is thinking.

        What is clear is that there is a huge vacuum in this country’s politics, and Mr Farage, whatever his other qualities, doesn’t give me the impression of being able to sensibly fill it. But in the absence of anyone else, one can at least say that he is fighting for this country to regain self – determination. Perhaps it’s a case of baby steps. The question crying out to be answered is, does this country actually have what it takes to be autonomous? Maybe the UK has been so infantilised that it’s incapable of looking after itself…

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink


      ” I can only suggest you put in someone like Duncan-Smith as interim leader until you have cleared the Augean stables of anyone who voted for the WA.”

      This same Duncan-Smith?

      2003: Tory Party leader resigns

      “The Conservative Party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, has resigned after he narrowly failed to win the backing of his fellow MPs in a vote of confidence.
      The result came shortly before 1900 GMT: 75 votes in favour of Mr Duncan Smith, but 90 against”

      • libertarian
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink


        That would be the SAME weasel wets that have been running and ruining the Conservative party for the last 20 years then.

  68. Chris
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I read that some political pundits think that Boris has won over some Remainers by stating that he would go back to Brussels to ask them to take out the backstop (and all will be hunky dory?). If not, then No Deal, but with time for adequate preparation.

    The very fact that Boris is still prepared to work with the WA says it all. It does NOT represent leaving the EU. It represents a betrayal of the country, its people and Brexit itself. Boris is quite likely to produce another fudge, especially if he panders to Amber Rudd and others, as has been reported. He is therefore, in my mind, not to be trusted. I also believe he is an opportunist, particularly after his support of the WA.

    Secondly, how dim can politicians get? The EU has always made clear that the WA could not be reopened and altered. Why does Boris think they will reopen it? As far as they were concerned it was a done deal. Charles Moore was one of the few journalists who realised that the Dublin agreement, the basis for the WA, was a “complete capitulation” to the EU. Boris should have realised then and left the Cabinet, but he was not up to speed on the Dublin agreement apparently (something that he himself later admitted).

    My view is that the Conservatives need a complete overhaul, with a new PM, and a new Cabinet, led by a committed and principled Brexiteer. For me that is not Boris or Raab.

    However, the problem is that May has done so much damage to the country and her Party, and all her MPs have carried on supporting her through almost 3 long years (thus also bearing responsibility) that I think the Cons Party will not recover. I believe the damage to be terminal. Many people now want a completely new Party, based on grassroots conservatism with a bold, courageous and principled leader, who is utterly focused on Brexit, and who has worked all of his political life to bring Brexit about: Nigel Farage.

    • Chris
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      A very apt tweet by Helena Morrissey on the collective responsibility of all the Cons Party/MPs for the desperate situation we are in now:

      “Helena Morrissey DBE‏
      In history we see leaders blamed for failure. But a leader could never exert such power to fail without the compliance of others. Politics attracts strategic people. They are complicit in these failed outcomes. Too often they scramble to pretend they didn’t know or had no power”.

  69. John Probert
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I look forward to the PM going and most of the cabinet soon after
    What a weak team with no real leaders or vision
    The conservative party will be lucky to survive
    It must be the most damaging government in recent history
    I have voted tory all my life and all I feel now is anger

  70. BR
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I see she’s now had a mini-reshuffle. Not what you’d expect of someone who thinks they are in the last days of the job?

    Any uptick in the Tory vote due to a belief that she is leaving will no doubt be spun as a reason to stay – or even as support for her ‘brave new deal’.

    I hope Brady knows what he’s doing. They seem inclined to go the same way as the last 4 PMs – sacrificing not only their careers, but also their party (and possibly their country) on the alter of the EU.

    If Mr Stride ever makes it to a Cabinet meeting, it will be bad news since that would be Tuesday… and she’s supposed to be gone by Monday.

    • BR
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      The above should of course read the ‘altar’ of the EU. Darned auto-correct doesn’t seem to know the word altar.

      • hefner
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Ever thought of switching the auto-correct function off?

        • libertarian
          Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Nah Hefner I need to it make sense of your posts

    • Stred
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 4:30 am | Permalink

      Stride is the minister responsible for the retrospective taxation and taxation of unreal profits. Also quarterly returns. The Brexit Party will hopefully decide to support small companies and traders instead of attacking them. Get rid of the changes such as HMRC to maximise tax and go back to pay the right tax. The Conservative Party is now the party of the civil service.

  71. Ian
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    How is this appalling PM still there, so much for getting her out, well I for one am glad she is still there!
    She has been doing Sterling work, with her colleges, making everyone mad to distraction.

    Eople are screaming to get rid of the whole lot, no one but no one is coming out of that dead party looking good.

    The New Tory Party is doing great, my god how good would it be thatTheBrexit Party does well.
    Quite how the VINCE CABLE crowd are running second,they are appealing nodoubt to the Remainers,they are the anty Democratic gang.

    This needed doing,just a shame we have had to wait all these years.

    PM. You have sat there too long for any good you have done, in the name of God Go

  72. David Maples
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Like the martyrs of the 16th Century, these diehard remainers are truly determined to die a hard[political]death. They are prepared to suffer self immolation at the stake, whilst simultaneously ensuring the mass immolation of their Tory base, which they see as the voice of detestable, populist reformation.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      They were infiltrators to begin with-plenty of boltholes in the Quangocracy to move onto.

  73. MickN
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I saw an amusing comment earlier.
    The author was asking about the sofa that Mrs May is using to barricade herself into number 10. He wondered if she got it from DFS and whether she negotiated the deal herself and got it for full price.
    Well it made me smile

  74. Edwardm
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    The conservative party is no longer credible.
    Its not just Mrs May, it’s also her 200 supporters who allowed her to get to where she is.

    I am grateful to and also feel sorry for the 28 conservative MPs who have stayed true to the referendum result and voted consistently against the WA – none of us deserve what Mrs May is trying to put on us.

  75. agricola
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Have ready posted a comment, what have you done with it.

    • agricola
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Now it has decided to reappeare, so much for computers.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        agricola…I suspect you need to post your comment, exit the site and re-enter then all might be well. It seems like you are seeing an update database issue.

  76. Iain Gill
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    PM Boris and Chancellor Redwood soon maybe eh

    • formula57
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Well one of those, certainly.

      Recall Mr. Johnson (formerly the people’s Blue Boris) eventually actually voted for the May Withdrawal Surrender. He has a lot of rowing back to do.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        formula57……a blonde moment?

  77. Doug Powell
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    If it comes to pass that ‘She Who Must be Obeyed’ really is on her last political legs, then the Conservative Party can think itself very, very, fortunate that it has one last, UNEXPECTED, chance to resurrect itself from its deathbed!

    This final chance, however, means the next leader must be a 24 carat Brexiteer, and that he, or she has to be steadfast in advocating a No-Deal, while giving the EU the opportunity to respond with a favourable mutually beneficially trade agreement, without punitive charges and surrender of the UK’s fish stocks!

    Tory MPs, have you the guts to uphold Democracy and do right by the winning side in the referendum?

    ANYTHING LESS! – Then it is RIP for the Party and shopping around for the cheapest undertaker! No flowers please – donations to the ex Tory MP’s Welfare Fund.

  78. Gareth Warren
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I see Tom Tugendhat has gotten behind Gove for PM, his uncle Christopher Tugendhat was an EU commissioner, seems very pro-EU MP, but follows the party line.

    Its laughable really, how deluded these people must be to believe they are fit for the highest office, I cannot remember Gove writing articles or in any other way connecting with the electorate. He seems okay performing, but completely lacking in charisma and trust, with someone like him at the helm the conservative party would go down with all hands at a GE.

    I fear the remain MPs are still utterly deluded as to the magnitude of crises that is the result of their support of the EU, I shall add my vote to the pile for the brexit party and see if any learn Sunday.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Gareth Warren

      “I fear the remain MPs are still utterly deluded as to the magnitude of crises that is the result of their support of the EU”

      You mean standing up for the nearly 50% of Remain voters who the strident Brexiteers would like to see ignored?

      You call that deluded? I call it standing up for democracy.

      • Gareth Warren
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Adolf “nearly” won WW2, when you “nearly” win you get nothing.

        Despite that a compromise was made to seek an agreement with the EU on leaving, even remainers baulk at that fetid deal, if I offered someone that sort of deal I would expect a refusal.

        So the EU have only themselves to blame, too greedy, but that was to be expected of people who do not recognise the value of taxes.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Give us a Break! Stop peddling this nearly 50% rubbish!

        Although ONE vote is enough to win an a democratic contest, the winning majority at the Referendum was 1.4 million votes! The largest mandate in the history of UK Democracy! If you think a margin of 1.4 million votes is nearly 50% – well? You must be a pushover for unscrupulous sales people and EU propagandists!

        I rest my case!

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Democracy is implementing the result of a vote, not the vote itself. If Remain had won you would have accepted Norway Plus as a reasonable outcome ?

      • libertarian
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink


        Democracy is when you implement the results of a winning vote

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 23, 2019 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

          55/50 where half the voters can be ignored is not democracy – not even a golf club would elect a chairman in such a manner.

          Our first past the post system is not democracy either. It is a primitive relic of the past and should have no part in a modern democracy.

          92 hereditary peers, hung parliament and a gov in power with DUP buying 10 seats using UK money tree!

          Media 80% owned by Murdoch, Harmsworth, Desmond and Barclay Bros all billionaires etc ed

          Democracy? Don’t make me laugh.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

            A Chair of a club can be voted in by just a majority of one.
            And in a committee if the vote is level the Chair will cast a deciding vote.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        As you are an expert on ‘The Nearly’ I would welcome some advice please. Last week I nearly won the Lottery – I was just a mere 6 numbers light.

        If I went to Camelot and claimed that I because of the closeness of my selections I ought to be paid a share of the 11 million pounds that was won that week, are you confident that Camelot would look favourably on my claim?

      • Steve
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink


        “You call that deluded? I call it standing up for democracy.”

        On the contrary, you confirmed that remain was less than 50%…..therefore by insisting the minority should be allowed to overturn the will of the majority you are not standing up for democracy, you are in fact showing contempt for it.

        Allow me to further explain in simplistic terms:-

        In a democracy, it’s majority rule. Those forming the minority of a democratic ballot have no say. In the case of the brexit referendum, if remain voters are not happy with the result, they should shut up and utilise the next general election to have their concerns heard.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        MH, your posts get more deluded by the day. For goodness sake woman, go, like Mrs May.

  79. Original Richard
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I think Mr. Gove is also a “hard core pro EU supporter”.

    He and Mr. Grayling were remain plants in the Leave campaign.

  80. bishbashbosh
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Heaven only knows what Mrs May hopes to achieve by staying on. I have started to entertain the amusing notion that she may be a closet Faragist.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      She’s staying on to beat Gordon Brown’s time in office. Beyond that her motives are opaque.

  81. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    To be honest I dread the prospect of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, he is like a bull in a china shop. Have you considered Dominic Raab, JR, who campaigned to leave the EU and resigned rather than go along with Theresa May’s rubbish deal? Better to choose somebody who would “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, rather than a loudmouth.

    • Simeon
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Raab voted for the WA. Whether through a lack of character or judgement, either way he’s not up to the job. Next!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

        It’s not easy to keep track but according wikipedia Raab resigned over the WA, voted against it, but then like some others voted for it on the third time of asking – which arguably was the best course of action. You say “Next!” but having dismissed Raab you do not offer a better suggestion.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      I’d support Gove on the grounds of his having been clearly the most effective minister in each dept he’s been in since 2010. But the judgement we now need Tory MPs to make is who is most likely to beat Corbyn. Corbyn/ Marxism is the real threat to the Country now. Brexit, by comparison, is neither here nor there.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

        I could not disagree more with your last sentence.

      • stred
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

        Gove has been captured by extreme warmist and pollution alarmist in hid department. He doesn’t have a clue and would be a disaster as a leader. He has no constant beliefs and is a backstabbing opportunist. What’s wrong with choosing someone with a record of voting against the capitulation and with business ability and intelligence. Peterson, Baker, even SJR.

  82. Fred H
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I think a total breakdown might be imminent, and possibly a long stay in a secure building away from telephoto lens cameras trying to capture the hysteria.

  83. Iain Moore
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Why should we have to wait for the 10th June for the Tories to begin their leadership contest? The US runs the primaries before the President has left office, so why can’t the Tories begin their leadership contest now? It seems the Tories have failed to adapt their leadership contest for a different time. In this instance we know that May is going to leave office, we also do not have time for the Tories to indulge themselves in a long leadership battle, so I repeat, why should we have to wait for the Tories to begin their contest? They could get on with the job of weeding out those who haven’t a hope, and get ready for a membership vote on the final two the day after May has resigned.

    • Simeon
      Posted May 23, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      It’s pretty clear that the leadership contest has begun, if not formally. And if there were that many weeds in my garden, I think I’d patio over the whole thing. Or just move house. And leave the country.

  84. David Maples
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    “If you love your wife Philip, act now before her mental health begins to suffer long term damage.”

  85. Original Richard
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    I do not think Mrs. May, who is still supported by a pro-EU majority of Conservative Party MPs, has any intention of resigning and will only leave by being forced out through a GE either at the end of the Parliamentary term or through Parliament voting for a GE.

    The pro-EU lobby believe that the longer they “hang-in” the better their chances of a pro-EU Parliament going against the referendum result and voting to revoke Article 50. Or, alternatively, waiting for the right time to rig a second referendum.

    Even if the pro-EU Conservative MPs are compelled to remove Mrs. May earlier to save their skins they will want to do this as close as possible to the current Brexit date of 31/10 so that any incoming Brexit supporting PM will have no time to prepare for the “no deal” (WTO terms) exit necessary to force the EU into new and serious negotiations.

  86. Steve
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink


    “…those who vote for it will demonstrate they do not understand the mood of the nation or the nature of task of rebuilding support for the government.”

    Fair comment Mr Redwood, although it seems a bit of an understatement.

    The mood of the nation is becoming dangerous.

    As for the task of rebuilding support for the government, well, that would be futile to be honest.

    Mrs May’s failure to leave first negotiate second, sneaky underhanded secret meetings with the EU, jumping into bed with Labour, wasting two years of time and public money, and the 1922’s complete lack of balls……all of these things and more have ensured the conservative party is truly unelectable.

    Oh and I forgot to mention the lies.

    They may as well do us all a favour and disband now.

    This is what happens when governments break their promises and think they don’t have to do as they are obliged by their electors. Eventually, the electors turn on them.

  87. Chris
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    The latest in the D Tel online is that May wants to stay on and reframe her WB:
    Theresa May has indicated she is willing to change her ‘new’ Brexit deal in order to stay in Number 10, despite facing growing calls to quit from her MPs
    European elections latest news: Theresa May suggests she will fight on as Sajid Javid tells her he cannot back the current deal.

    It is obvious that we have to wait and see what effect the European election results have on the 1922 Committee and Tory MPs. I suspect May will hardly bat an eyelid. If the reports are true that Sir Graham already has sealed envelopes in the event that she refuses (during discussions with Sir Graham on Friday) to agree to go, then one can hope that those envelopes give May her marching orders. I am not so sure they will, particularly as it is reported that a key deputy of the Committee is a fervent europhile and has had considerable influence on MPs and the proceedings.

    It still seems that Theresa May is calling all the shots and that MPs are just pawns. She still seems supremely confident that she can steamroller her deal through., so you have to ask who is backing her, and who is giving her this authority, and why are Tory MPs apparently running scared. I hope the Brexit Party makes mincemeat of the lot of them. They really do not deserve any support from the general public. I believe the public has had more than enough and want swift action.

    • stred
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Who is backing them? Big business and globalists working through Common Purpose in key positions in the civil service. They think they’re invincible and no matter how many times the zombie is whacked, it just keeps going, leading beyond authority.

  88. Freeborn John
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    What is most surprising to me is that May was not replaced 6 or 12 months ago. It is always too little, too late with the Conservative parliamentary party.

  89. Fred H
    Posted May 23, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    The ‘informed gossip’ says Mrs May WILL meet Mr Brady Friday morning. The thought is that he will insist she resigns by Monday, or he will open a pack of letters insisting she goes that are likely to be so numerous it surely makes it clear her time is up. Plus on Monday morning the EU vote in UK is probably going to indicate Con voting meltdown on her watch like no other.

  90. libertarian
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Oh look the weasels are all rushing to get their resignations in because er Brexit

    You wonder why the public are totally and utterly disgusted with politicians

    We need a seismic change in the way we do politics. Personally I would ban political parties and I’m not normally a fan of banning things

    Some are speculating that the Tories have won NO, Zero, Zilch, nada none, nothing NO SEATS in a major election. No way back from that

  • 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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