It’s fair to say that Theresa May didn’t need that.
Last night, on the eve of the European Parliamentary elections, Theresa May suffered a high-profile resignation – the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom.
In a scathing resignation letter, Leadsom, British Politics’ Dolores Umbridge, told May that she “No longer believed that their approach will deliver on the referendum result.” She went on to slag off May’s Shiny New Deal, and essentially called her handling of Brexit both inept and cowardly.
We, the people, go to the polls today. What are we to make of this?
That It’s A Total Balls-Up Of A Colossal Scale?
Yep, pretty much. And the Tories are going to be eviscerated because of it.
Leadsom’s resignation comes off the back of May’s final attempt at getting some kind of Brexit resolution through her announcement of a new version of her deal, which we covered in more detail here. It was widely met with derision across the House of Commons, with both opponents and allies alike largely calling it a load of utter toss.
It alienated those who might have been wavering in their support but could have been persuaded back, and gave ample ammunition to those who had no intention of voting on her side in the first place. It was a truly incredible piece of conflict-resolution: to bring everyone together, she told both sides that they were right, but also that they were wrong, and then to prove her point she set fire to herself.
British Politics, 2019.
Leadsom has been a prominent voice for Brexiteers, actively campaigning for a harder Brexit. The rumours from the Cabinet meeting that preceded May’s announcement of her new deal are that she and Chris “Lord Commander of Failing” Grayling refused to allow Tezza to make real concessions to Labour, such as a confirmatory second referendum.
However, the new deal was clearly just a step too far for Leadsom. Her resignation came during a fraught evening within the corridors of Parliament, where Cabinet Ministers are rumoured to have requested multiple meetings with Theresa May only for her to refuse. We can only assume what these requested meetings would have been about, but old Maggie Thatcher was eventually ousted by a series of one-to-one meetings with her Cabinet Ministers who all told her to resign.
So, it’s relatively understandable that May, in the words of Iain Duncan Smith, put the “sofa up against the door.”
It wasn’t enough, however. Leadsom resigned, May lost one of her major Cabinet Ministers, and the Tories now look more divided than ever.
So… What Happens Now?
Well, first things first.
If you are registered, then
GO OUT AND VOTE.
Today is the election that many argue shouldn’t be happening, will be won by the group who hate the EU the most, and will likely be the worst result for the Tories in generations.
Every vote matters. Every. Last. One. This isn’t a voting system where First Past The Post makes your vote irrelevant if you don’t vote for the winning party, every vote counts and has a direct impact on our future relationship with the EU. If nothing else, vote Green – the world is literally dying, so you might as well vote for those who want to try to stop that.
The fact that today is an election day means that media coverage of politics is massively scaled back to be reporting only – anything that might be considered to change the opinions of voters isn’t allowed. Which means that May can cling to power throughout today because politicians can’t appear on tellie and tell her to clear off.
Friday, however, is another matter. While the results of the election won’t be announced until Sunday, exit polls will give a good indication of where people’s votes have gone. So we should know, roughly at least, what the damage is.
May will meet with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, on Friday. He is probably going to be reasonably unsatisfied with the results of the election, and with May’s refusal to leave, having asked her to spell out her plans to resign on multiple occasions already.
There is every chance that he will suggest that May resign on Friday.
Whether or not she does that, however, is anyone’s guess.
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