The Tory Party Leadership Race has finally begun!
And here’s something for you to listen to for this article.
Following the official departure of Theresa May on Friday, signed off with a rather forlorn letter to the 1922 Committee, the race for leader begins in earnest today. The deadline – 23rd of July.
The first hurdle? Thursday.
In just three days’ time, each candidate will need to have the support of at least 8 MPs in order for their candidacy to remain approved – while the big names like Johnson, Gove and Hunt will have no trouble with this, it will likely thin the herd somewhat. While it’s not certain, I would probably have a flutter on Sam Gyimah, Mark Harper and/or Esther McVey dropping out.
But theirs are not the only campaigns that have hit the (crack) rocks recently…
Gove’s Gear Fears
Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has been subject of some serious criticism this week after his admission that he used to take cocaine recreationally. This has seen his previously-strong campaign take quite a stumble, especially considering that he is a pretty likely front-runner to oppose Boris Johnson in the final head-to-head section of the Leadership Race.
I feel rather sorry for Mr. Gove, but only because of the stupidity of it all. He was by no means the first candidate to admit to partaking in some “extracurricular activities” when they were younger. Jeremy Hunt admitted to having a cannabis lassi, Rory Stewart admitted to trying opium at a wedding in the Middle East, and all the other candidates seemed to try to clamber over one another to admit some kind of cannabis use.
Presumably the candidates assumed that this would make them more “down wiv da kids,” rather than trying to change a political programme that systematically ignores all the things that a culturally and politically-aware younger generation hold dear.
Good luck with that.
But anyway, Gove, perhaps out of wanting to do one better, admitted to dabbling in the devil’s dandruff a few times when he was a journalist. From what I know of journalism in the 80s and 90s, I would imagine that this was not an uncommon occurrence.
However, it was a step too far. The fact that it’s a Class A drug that damages the lives of millions of people throughout the world in its creation and distribution means that it has far more impact behind its use than the “Cheeky toke on the doobie” feeling that comes with marijuana.
Or rather, “comes with marijuana… for middle-class white boys.”
The backlash against Gove has been fierce, and this writer would argue a little insincere – I would bet my house on Boris Johnson being partial to hoovering up some silly snuff back in his day, yet Gove was the one who admitted to it.
Gove has apologised profusely and stated his understanding of how stupid it was, and so far he has not seen his 35 MP supporters back out. It will probably be more of a stumble than a crash, but it’s still not been a good few days for Team Gove.
The Runt Of The Litter
In a blow to Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd, the highly-respected One-Nation (moderate) Tory and Work and Pensions Secretary, gave her support to Jeremy Hunt last night. The predicted “Bamber” alliance of BoJo and Ms. Rudd would have likely all-but-sealed Johnson’s path to the premiership, as she commands a lot of loyalty from the centre-right.
However, in a letter to The Times today, Rudd gave her backing to Jeremy Hunt, saying that “serious times… require a serious leader,” a thinly-veiled attack on Boris’ tally-ho campaign promise to battle against the EU. As such, the “Runt” alliance, as I have just decided to call it, has been formed.
This, especially with Gove’s cocaine cock-up, will give Hunt a serious boost to be the candidate to oppose Johnson at the final vote.
Raab Changes Garb
Dominic Raab, the former Brexit Secretary who voted against the deal that he helped to negotiate, has decided that his first approach to the leadership campaign was so stupid that he’s going to “Go Green” instead.
Pledging to use technology to make Britain a leading light in the battle against climate change, he is trying to widen the pool of potential supporter away from just the hard-right, ERG headbangers who have largely come out in support of BoJo anyway, rather than Raab himself.
This comes off the back of a campaign where he has threatened to prorogue Parliament (i.e. end the session) to force through a no-deal Brexit and actively pushed back at the word ‘feminist.’
It’s probably about as likely to work as a nuclear bunker made of plywood.
Bye Raab, you useless toad.
The Lisa Your Worries…
Lisa Forbes, the Labour MP who narrowly won the seat in the Peterborough by-election last week, has come under intense scrutiny for social media activity where she has praised anti-Zionist rhetoric.
Basically, antisemitism is still slowly destroying the Labour Party.
Labour MPs Jess Phillips and Wes Streeting both actively denounced Forbes and Labour’s decision to run her in that constituency, and the backlash from around the country is pronounced.
Barry Gardiner, a close Corbyn ally, tried to play down the situation by saying that “If Gove can be forgiven for taking cocaine, Lisa can be forgiven for ‘accidentally’ liking a video on social media.” But Barry, one is taking an illegal substance.
The other is outright racism.
What is happening to our politics?
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