And the last three years could have been very different
With the pressure ratcheting up in the Tory party against TMay it is perhaps worth recalling how she got the job in the first place in July 2016. Boris was the longstanding favourite but pulled out following Michael Gove’s surprise entry into the race. In the MP balloting TMay came top with Andrea Leadsom second.
So Leadsom and Theresa May were two names that were to go to the membership. But on the following Monday Leadsom pulled out after a huge furore over her comments in the Times about the fact that she was a mother and Theresa May wasn’t. This was seen as an unfair attack on Theresa May and she eventually stepped aside.
It is at that point, looking back, that the chairman of the 1922 committee, Graham Brady, made a decision that was to change everything. He declared Theresa May the winner without her having to go through the process of facing a leadership ballot of the membership.
There is a strong case for saying that what he should have done was to go to the next in line in the MPs ballot, which happened to be Michael Gove, and these two would have been the choice that went to the membership.
Brady’s move meant that Mrs May, who’s never been known to like being questioned or being accountable, was able to take the job without the scrutiny that such a membership campaign would have inevitably involved. As we saw at GE2017 she isn’t good as an election campaigner
I believe that the whole process of the members ballot with the associated huge media coverage and examination of the contenders would have exposed some of Mrs May’s worst features and that she might not have made it.
Winning a membership ballot would have added to her legitimacy for there has always been a problem that she was a Remainer .
And so she struggles on.