The Next Prime Minister
The Conservative Party now has to find a new party leader and Prime Minister to replace poor David Cameron. The decent man who has paid the price for losing the Brexit Referendum. Nominations for candidates to succeed him as leader of the Conservative Party close at noon today and the winner will be the person Mr Cameron will propose to HM the Queen as her next Prime Minister.
The papers are full of the campaign process: The Daily Mirror (usually a pro-Labour Paper) has a quite helpful potted biography of each of the known and possible candidates together with the bookmaker odds: “Who will be the next Tory leader? Odds and profiles for Conservative Party contenders after the EU referendum”. The Daily Express (pro Conservative) has a similar review of the known candidates declaring Boris Johnson as the clear favorite: “I want to be your PM: ‘Clear favourite’ Boris Johnson set to launch bid for Number 10”
The Daily Telegraph (pro Conservative) does much the same but also has a story from Michael Gove’s wife, the journalist Sarah Vine: “Michael Gove’s wife Sarah Vine warned him about risks of backing Boris Johnson without ‘specific’ assurances on migration controls”.
The Times features a statement by Teresa May: “I will unite Britain”. The Guardian (a more left wing paper) has : “Boris Johnson and Theresa May set to announce Tory leadership bids”.
A You Gov poll of Conservative Party members for The Times has Teresa May at 36% and Clown Boris at 27% with all the other known candidates below 10%. More importantly in a head to head: May=55% -v- Johnson=38%.
At 9.25, the BBC announced: “Michael Gove to stand for Conservative Leadership” He is reported as saying that he was standing because he had come “to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead“.
He had been widely expected to support Boris Johnson. But then this blog doesn’t call Gov the “Poison Dwarf” for nothing and we were sure the unholy pair would eventually come to grief.
The Conservative Home blog said the announcement was “sensational”. That must be right. And very shortly after that announcement came another.
Boris Johnson announced at 12.23 that he was withdrawing from the leadership race. It appears that Clown Boris had realised that the Gove decision to stand and his “stab in the back” was fatal to his campaign. So what had been billed as the opening of his official campaign ended up as his withdrawal statement. Clown Boris looked rather peculiar, unsurprising given the events of the morning. His address was rather disjointed, He said the next Conservative leader would have to unify his party and ensure that Britain stood tall in the world and then he fell on his sword with these words: “Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in Parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me.” A sort of “et tu Gove” farewell.
Perhaps poor Boris should have read the Telegraph more often and in particular an article on 30th June: “Michael Gove, brilliant but unloved, plays the game of thrones“.
The Other Candidates for the Leadership
The candidates are now Stephen Crabb, Teresa May, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, and Andrea Leadsom.
There will now be a series of ballots of Members to narrow these candidates down to just two. The first ballot will be on 5th July 2016. The results will be announced and the bottom candidate drops out. The second Ballot will be on 7th July 2016 and the bottom candidate will drop out – and so forth on Tuesdays and Thursdays until there are just two candidates remaining. The final decision is then reached by a postal ballot of party members.
The worry is that Poison Dwarf Gove might still pull off the leadership. But one hopes he will be tarred with the same brush as his partner in deceit. Alastair Campbell has a piece in the International Business Times: “Boris Johnson and Michael Gove’s deceit led to this Brexit mess – we must be able to reconsider“. There is certainly a need to find out just why Johnson and Gove opted to exploit the immigration issue and indeed to take it over from the Dark Lord Farage.
The Rt Hon Teresa May MP
Teresa May launched her campaign with a very good speech and fielding questions well.
The Home Secretary was born in 1956. She is a C of E clergyman’s daughter with conventional schooling and an Oxford BSc (Hons) in 1977. She was at the Bank of England 1977-83 and an adviser on international affairs with the Association for International Payment Clearing Services 1985-1987.
Teresa May was a Councillor of the London Borough of Merton 1986-94 becoming Deputy Group Leader. She was first elected to Parliament in 1997, and served in the William Hague shadow cabinet, She became Chairman of the Conservative Party in 2002, became a Privy Councillor in 2003 and a member of David Cameron’s Government in 2004 and eventually Home Secretary in 2010.
There can be no doubt that Mrs May has the background, the experience and the determination necessary to lead the County and the Conservative Party in this difficult time.
We shall have to see how things develop, But it is to be hoped that this lady will prevail and consign the Poison Dwarf to the Outer Darkness, or if that be not possible, perhaps he and the Scottish Office could be relocated North of the Border.