— TSE (@TSEofPB) July 15, 2017
For the second year running Andrea Leadsom is ensuring Theresa May is Prime Minister.
Last night I observed the unofficial Tory leadership contest is increasing in its tempo and activity, today The Financial Times have more information on it.
Some speculate Mr Davis might be given a “coronation” as the leadership candidate best placed to deliver Brexit, but few Tory MPs believe that a transfer of power would be anything other than brutal and protracted. “There won’t be a coronation while Andrea Leadsom is alive,” sighs one Conservative MP, referring to the ambitious leader of the Commons who made a shortlived bid for the Conservative leadership against Mrs May last year.
Meanwhile, Tory MPs recount how other potential contenders are suddenly clearing their diaries to spend more time with colleagues. “[Chancellor] Philip Hammond had drinks the other night in his office,” says one Tory MP. “It’s not like him.”
Some MPs argue Mr Hammond might act as a stopgap leader — perhaps serving for two years to deliver Brexit before standing aside — but the idea of the Conservatives fielding three prime ministers in a single parliament is seen as bizarre by many. “What would be the point of Philip Hammond?” says one Tory MP. “It’s like deciding you want to change your Volvo and you come back from the garage with…another Volvo.”
So last year Andrea Leadsom effectively made Theresa May Prime Minister and one year on she’s still ensuring Theresa May continues to be Prime Minister because Mrs Leadsom still harbours ambitions to be Prime Minister and won’t allow a coronation. This also does tend to give credence to the reports that after the general election Mrs Leadsom wanted Mrs May to appoint her as Home Secretary or Foreign Secretary.