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If TMay has to go quickly then, surely, Javid or Hunt should be favourites for “Emergency PM”

December 3rd, 2018

Both might be worth a punt for next PM

I’ve long taken the view that Theresa May is not going to resign voluntarily before her mission of handling brexit and taking the UK out of the EU has been accomplished. However the big Commons vote goes next week she’ll want to cling on and see it through.

But there must always be a chance that she would quit or even more likely face a vote of no confidence amongst her MPs if the outcome is really bad for her.

One of the things that, surprisingly, there has been very little discussion about is who would be emergency PM should TMay resign suddenly and there is no time for a proper leadership election. The cabinet then would be likely to choose a temporary PM while a leadership ballot went forward.

Assuming that this happened before the termination of the article 50 process on March 29th then the new prime minister would have to take over at a very difficult and challenging time in order to handle the whole issue of the UK’s extraction from the EU.

This is a big task and not one you could see current CON leadership favourite Boris doing. One thing he’s never been is a details man. There’s Dominic Raab who has only been in the cabinet a few months and really doesn’t yet look the part.

    Looking around I very much agree with Ian Martin’s tweet above that there are only two big beasts there ready to fit the bill – the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt and the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid. They would also be in a position to determine TMay’s future.

Quite what the mechanics of the change would be is clearly open to speculation but a lot could be in TMay’s hands. Part of her constitutional duty on handing in her resignation as PM is to advise the Queen on who should be invited to lead the government.

My guess is that she would prefer Hunt who like her is one of the three remaining Cabinet ministers who have served since continuously since GE2010. She wouldn’t however want to go against the will of the cabinet.

In the betting the best market to go for is next PM rather than next CON leader. The odds are slightly longer. I’ve just had small wagers at 11 and 12 on Betfair on Javid and Hunt respectively. Even if there is no immediate vacancy they are both strongly placed for when she does go.

Mike Smithson