10 Downing Street (OGL)

10 Downing Street (OGL)

The only leaving that will be done this summer, is Theresa May leaving Number Ten.

The Tories have all but given up on the EU elections and are now expecting to return the big fat number of zero MEPs to the European Parliament.


But after an announcement today those MEP elections will be just a side show for Tory Party MPs and members, because the leadership race is now on and the keys to Number Ten are up for grabs.

The Chairman of the Conservative Party 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, has issued the following statement:

"The Prime Minister is determined to secure our departure from the European Union and is devoting her efforts to securing the 2nd Reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week commencing 3rd June 2019 and the passage of that bill and the consequent departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union by the summer.

"We have agreed that she and I will meet following the 2nd Reading of the Bill to agree a timetable for the election of a new leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party."

And Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC political editor, reports that senior Tory sources told her it would not be some sort of gentle chat but it means "…even though the letter doesn't spell it out, that if her Brexit plan is defeated again, Mrs May will announce she is going."

And with the expectation that her Withdrawal Agreement Bill will be voted out, so killing it off in the current parliamentary session, her premiership is now in the toaster ready to pop up well and truly charred on the given date.

And the BBC handily points out that at the moment Theresa May has the fifth shortest premiership since 1900, but could make it into the sixth shortest slot by overtaking Gordon Brown in days served on the 29th of March.

And as expected up steps Boris Johnson to announce he will throw his hat in the ring.

Talking to an insurance brokers conference in Manchester he said:

"I’m going to go for it. Of course I’m going to go for it."

And he also said:

"…there has been a real lack of grip and dynamism in the way we’ve approached these talks.

“We’ve failed over the past three years to put forward a convincing narrative about how we exploit the opportunities of Brexit.

“All I can say, as tactfully and usefully as I can, is that I have a boundless appetite to try to get it right, and to help the country to get on the right path."

While Andrea Jenkyns has come out in support of Dominic Raab when talking to LBC.

I expect some more will come forward over the next few days.

And as ever, the issue of the EU has put paid to another Tory Prime Minister.

But the big point here is that Theresa May is now PM in name only. There is absolutely no point in continuing the Tory / Labour Party talks and Brussels will just sigh, call us all more names again as per the BBC documentary, and sit back and wait to see who ends up replacing her.

Now, David Cameron announced his departure on the 24th of June 2016, the day after the referendum and Theresa May took up residence in Number Ten on the 13th July after all her opponents were defeated or stood aside.

So, a Tory leadership election might not take too much time, as long as its party's MPs select a single candidate and don't end up having to go to its membership for an election between two or more candidates.

But with the Remainers outnumbering Leavers in the Tory MP ranks, it might not be easy to get someone in Number Ten who truly wants Brexit – actually we may just end up with yet another Remainer!





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