Drifting after the Brexit collision

Tory Leadership Campaign

In the first MP vote Liam Fox was eliminated and he declared he would ask those who supported him to support Teresa May .  Stephen Crabb also announced he was withdrawing his name from the race and supporting Teresa May.  A final round today has produced the two names to be submitted to the postal ballot of Members of the Party.

Round 2 Candidates Ist Round 2nd Round  

 

William Hilll  Odds
Teresa May 165  199 1/5 (3/10)
Andrea Leadsom 66  84 7/2 (2/1)
Michael Gove 48  46
Stephen Crabb 34
Liam Fox 16

The Conservative Home blog had a thoughtful piece: “Gove over Leadsom – a triumph of hope over inexperience” which concluded with a salutary warning to the Members of the Party who will take the ultimate decision.:-

“If May gets well over half the vote today, she will command a Parliamentary Party consensus.  And if MPs give members the choice they want, members in turn should give them the candidate they want – on such numbers, at any rate.  For no Party leader can flourish without the backing of those that they must work alongside every day.  If you doubt it, look at Jeremy Corbyn”.

Likewise, Guido Fawkes today relied on a poll showing that May had a plus 29% favourability rating while Leadsom had just a plus 1% while the Poison Dwarf Gove had a whopping MINUS 47%.

The papers today have been too full of the fallout from the Chilcot Report to pay much attention to the leadership campaign.  The Guardian has this: “Gove ally apologises for plot to stop Leadsom leadership bid” and the Telegraph has the same story: “Tory leadership election: Civil war deepens as Michael Gove ally urges Theresa May backers to block Andrea Leadsom”.

gove2

So, the bookies and Guido Fawkes were right. The Poison Dwarf has been given the Order of the Boot by his fellow members . The Poison Dwarf has cabinet level experience while Andrea Leadson had not.  So why did Gove fail to make the grade?   No doubt Gove’s sabotage of Boris Johnson played its part.  Serve him right.

 

The Labour Leadership issue

Not much movement as a consequence of the Chilcot/Blair fallout.

The Cabinet Office Brexit Unit

People are beginning to focus attention on Brexit planning issues.

It is is many ways reprehensible that the Cameron government had  (i) not prepared plans for the event of the Referendum failing to deliver the outcome the government was campaigning for, (ii) not been aware of the increase in anti-immigration feeling in deprived areas and  (iii) failed to take any steps to address the causes of such xenophobia.

Even now, the response appears to be half-hearted.  Firstly, the person tasked at ministerial level is Oliver Letwin , the Cabinet Office Minister.  The Guardian has this piece: “Toto has pulled back the Brexit curtain to reveal – oh dear! – Oliver Letwin” in which the writer concludes: Letwin is Captain I-Haven’t-the-Slightest-Idea. That’s the guy running the Brexit situation room

The top civil servant is  Oliver Robbins whose principal claim to fame is that he was thrown out of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee for giving unsatisfactory answers. See: “Civil servant thrown out of Commons committee is ordered to return“.  While Robbins was at the Home Office, he had responsibility for immigration and free movement policy, and oversight of the borders, immigration and citizenship system.

While this will mean that the likely forthcoming Prime Minister, Teresa May,  will be used to working with him,  there must be a risk that this will result in the Unit concentrating overmuch on the immigration issues arising from Brexit, while the primary concerns are likely to be related to the public finances and the looming decimation of the UK financial services sector and the consequences for the City of London.   The Mandarins had better be aware (and make Ministers aware)  that 30% of the UK’s tax revenues are generated by the City of London.

Meanwhile, the Government and in consequence the country, is drifting along, like a ship which has lost its rudder and whose engine has failed. 

[Updated after MP’s Leadership Vote Announced]

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