As soon as it became clear that the Tories had failed to retain their majority in the Commons as a result of this month’s General Election, the muttering started. The rest of her party might have cheered her decision to go to the country to the rafters, and joined in the approving chorus of voices proclaiming the Imperial Progress of the Empress Theresa, but in the cold light of day, many discovered that they never liked her really.
So if Theresa May were prevailed upon to do whatever passes for The Decent Thing in today’s Tory Party, who might step into the breach? And it is at this point that The Blue Team has suddenly gone all quiet. Why that should be is not difficult to figure out when the paucity of talent at the top of the party is put under scrutiny.
Why might that be? Well, here’s the likeliest to want to succeed the PM.
Boris Johnson. The first name the press always pitches is Bozza. And it isn’t going to happen, not least because Bozza would not only not improve the Tories’ standing, he’s got a past that might catch up with him. Don’t forget he was knifed last time round - because the bloke doing the knifing knew what was in Bozza’s skeleton cupboard. What might also catch up with Bozza is his lousy stewardship of the London Mayoralty.
Michael Gove. Yes, “Oiky” Gove actually knifed Bozza for higher motives than mere personal advancement, but he’s still, er, Michael Gove. He lays himself open to be charged with offences such as “Walking around with an offensive wife”. Being attacked by Gove is akin to being assailed by Elmer Fudd, although maybe even funnier.
David Davis. I’ve got a lot of time for DD - on snoop overreach and anything civil liberties related, he’s shit hot, the business. The problem is that he often comes over as an innocent abroad on stuff where he shouldn’t.
Liam Fox. Bwahahahahahahahaha! Liam sodding Fox! No don’t, the laughter is hurting me. Look folks, this is the bloke who shows being a spiv is not just the preserve of UKIP. Any party putting its leadership in the hands of this chancer does not have its membership dealing from a full deck. Avoid like the plague.
Priti Patel. A party like the Tories needs a leader, not an I-Speak-Your-Weight machine. See also under Esther McVey.
Dominic Raab. No - just no.
Sajid Javid. Yes, I know who he is. But why?
Philip Hammond. Yes, that leaves us with Spreadsheet Phil, the John Major candidate without the jokes. The same bloke who messed up on dodgy building cladding, tower block sprinklers, and his voting on making rental property properly habitable when he presented himself before the host’s inquisition on The Andy Marr Show (tm) this morning.
That, folks, as well as Andrea Leadsom, is why the Tories are thinking twice about deposing Theresa May. Because the supporting cast is even worse.