Hopefully this will be the last stunning day in British politics for a while

Well, well, well. Yet another stunning day in British politics.

There we were expecting two months of two candidates touring constituency Conservative parties. And then suddenly we hear that we’ll have a new Prime Minister on Wednesday evening.

Our Prime Minister exits the stage humming a bar of the West Wing ending theme tune.

It is fascinating that, in the referendum, many people voted to take back control, so that their leaders were not unelected. And we now seem to have had our Prime Minister chosen by Rachel Sylvester, Times journalist. How mad can you get?

In one sense it seems crazy that we have a new PM and only one speech (given this morning) which gives us an idea of her programme.

In another sense, it is perhaps healthy that Theresa May has not had to play to the gallery of the Tory party for two months. She won’t have to commit to right-wing red meat to beat Andrea Leadsom. So she starts with a clean sheet. We can only hope that, as a result, she comes up with a Brexit plan which is truly the best one for the country as a whole, rather than just the Tory party or the Brexiteers.

In other news, the Labour party will be having a leadership election.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • paul barker 11th Jul '16 - 6:12pm

    Well, theres the possibility of UKIPs Ex-Leader facing serious criminal charges, following the not-guilty verdict on one of his Ex-MEPs. She claims that Farage tried to stith her up on Fraud charges. The Jury believed her.

  • Rightsaidfredfan 11th Jul '16 - 6:19pm

    I thought the members would choose Leadsom…

    Anyway, you guys will be pleased that we have got a women PM.

    And I’m pleased that she got there entirely on her own merit, as discrimination on the grounds of arbitrary characteristics that a person doesn’t choose is something I find quite revolting.

    With a female Scottish first minister, a female British PM, a German leader and possibly a USA president all being female and all winning those positions on merit hopefully all the sexist nonsense about equality of opportunity having to be replaced with sexist discrimination to ensure equality of outcome will stop.

  • Eddie Sammon 11th Jul '16 - 6:20pm

    The Lib Dems need to become as efficient as the Conservatives. It’s ridiculous for party members to possibly choose the Prime Minister and even trying to tie the hands of MPs on which way they can vote is silly too.

  • interesting times, am not so impressed to hear calls for an election – there’s no
    constitutional grounds for such, unless
    the pm loses the confidence of the House – and anyway, weren’t we the party that wanted fixed 5 year terms?
    A side-note, I think it would be churlish in extreme not to wish the camerons well. He is probably the least grating PM i can remember, and although has erred and mis-stepped, he has done his role with some dignity.
    As for Labour …..

  • The markets do not like uncertainty.

  • This does not seem to be a good time for fresh elections (even if there were enough votes in parliament to trigger them). May is likely to get an increase in support and popularity as she begins her office, and with Labour at loose ends, elections might well only inflate Tory numbers.

    However, given time, and with the realities of Brexit beginning to settle in (and especially the unsavory details of the bargaining between the government and the EU), and the Conservatives’ popularity is bound to fall. At that point, with Labour cracking up and Scotland leaving the UK, the Liberal Democrats may well end up leading the opposition.

  • Why should we have an election? We’re in a Parliamentary democracy. People might have said they were voting for David Cameron, but they are wrong.

    Furthermore, the economy needs stability, an election is the last thing we need.

    Calling for one is extremely irresponsible.

  • Little Jackie Paper 11th Jul '16 - 7:23pm

    Slightly against the grain. I felt that Gordon Brown should have called an election (and I took an internet pounding for saying it) and I think May should call one. Perhaps not immediately, but within say 18 months.

    The voters (all of them) should get a say on this one. A year is a long time in politics. I rather suspect given the state of LAB and LDP and what happened to Brown the CON strategists will be weighing it up.

  • “In another sense, it is perhaps healthy that Theresa May has not had to play to the gallery of the Tory party for two months. She won’t have to commit to right-wing red meat to beat Andrea Leadsom. So she starts with a clean sheet. We can only hope that, as a result, she comes up with a Brexit plan which is truly the best one for the country as a whole, rather than just the Tory party or the Brexiteers.”


    I don’t much like her, but by luck or good judgement she got through the Brexit campaign and Tory leadership “contest” without saying anything really stupid.

  • Or saying anything much at all, come to think of it……

  • Little Jackie Paper 11th Jul '16 - 8:03pm

    Nick Baird – ‘Or saying anything much at all, come to think of it.’

    She said the three important words. ‘Brexit means Brexit.’ It was clear. TIme will tell what that means.

    Best case, by 2018 we have a Norway-type arrangement ready to go. We have a clear transition plan and May has pulled together a coalition that ranges from firm EU sceptics to the reluctant remainers. England win the world cup.

    Worst case, basically something like Gordon Brown where events overtake her. We have years of economic turmoil, with no plan in sight. England fail to qualify.

    I lean to the optimistic.

  • Laurence Cox 11th Jul '16 - 8:25pm

    Don’t underestimate Theresa May. She held down the Home Secretary position for six years without a major gaffe and stood up to the Police Federation. As for suggesting that Rachel Sylvester chose the new PM, that is just plain stupid. Leadsom’s gaffe in her interview was even worse on the audio recording than it was reported in the Times; it showed that she lacked the political nous ever to reach the top. Still, one shouldn’t be surprised from someone who sexed-up her CV and thought it would never come out.

    The only good thing that she said in her speech when withdrawing from the leadership race was that she recognised that having less than 25% of the Tory MPs supporting her was not sufficient for someone who wanted to be their leader. If only Corbyn had the political awareness to realise this; he has had his chance to give Tony Blair a kicking in the Chilcot debate, now by hanging on he is dooming Labour to lose even more heavily in 2020.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Jul '16 - 9:04pm

    Many a true word spoken in jest.
    Jon Snow of Channel 4 News interviewed three female journalists.
    One of them said that Theresa May is a secret Leaver who is now Tory leader while Jeremy Corbyn is a secret Remainer who is currently Labour leader, or something like that.
    Pledging to support the referendum result attracts Leaver MPs to Theresa May’s campaign.
    Let’s accept that Rees-Mogg was correct when he said that most of the Tory members are Leavers. Giving them what they want saves time and money.
    Harold MacMillan was in favour of the Suez campaign and then against. Nothing new now.
    Reliance on Theresa May’s determination in negotiations against Angela Merkel is irrelevant if Theresa May is really a Brexiteer.
    Yes, Commonwealth countries want to sell us more goods, does Ghana make better cocoa than Ivory Coast? but the bottom line is that we need to pay for it.

  • nigel hunter 11th Jul '16 - 9:29pm

    She did not campaign vigorously for remain so she escaped Brexit fury. Was there some ‘black ops’ going on to ‘get Leadsom out of the way? A plan with Cameron after all here speech was a straight Prime Ministers setting out a Govnt stance. Being a Tory she will still put her party first, even in her speech this morning she mentioned the party first then the country She is a politician we will have to be wary of . Along with Corbyn’s ‘remain’ stance we lost the referendum. One an astute politician the other a ‘trainee’.

  • Martin Land 12th Jul '16 - 5:15am

    We forget that an election may yet be provoked by the ongoing investigations of PC Plod into Tory election expense irregularities. I understand an additional investigation is now going on into the undeclared use of a central phone bank, undeclared on constituency election expenses, which conducted ‘research’ during the election.

  • Richard Underhill 12th Jul '16 - 11:18am

    We already have the Rule of One (archy, mon, following archy, an)
    Will there be a job for DC? or a bye-election?
    Who will be Home Sec? Will the predecessor interfere? Prisons and Immigration work together.

    UKIP’s founding purpose is done. Not having a general election will mean that UKIP councillors will be up for re-election and Tories might fancy their chances.

  • Little Jackie Paper 11th Jul ’16 – 7:23pm………………Slightly against the grain. I felt that Gordon Brown should have called an election (and I took an internet pounding for saying it) and I think May should call one. Perhaps not immediately, but within say 18 months…………………

    For what it’s worth….Had Brown called a snap election and lost…It would have been Cameron/Osborne in charge when the financial crash occurred…Osborne would have dithered over the banks and, in 2010, Labour would’ve swept into power….

    Post Brexit this country will be in recession by the autumn, all the promised new trade deals will still be dreams and Tory ‘Remainers’ will be blaming ‘Brexiteers’ for taking us out of Europe whilst’ Brexiteers’ willbe blaming ‘Remainers’ for not trying hard enough….

    Ideal ground for a ‘shake-up’ of Whitehall…The Labour party will still be fighting internal battles….Sadly, we are now too few to take full advantage…


  • Another stunning historical day in British Politics.
    A debate on whether to hold another Brexit referendum on 5th September!

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