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The toppling of Theresa: Day 31


WHY don’t you resign? We don’t want you.’ So a former Welsh Tory councillor berated Mrs May at the Welsh Conservative conference in Llangollen on Friday. He was speaking for the entire party. Conservative Home’s hot-off-the-press survey confirmed that this morning. A record proportion of party members – 82 per cent – want her gone. No surprise there. The party to which Mrs May has shown she no longer owes any fealty owes none to her.

But is the PM really ‘under pressure’, as has been deduced from the Welsh episode and the dire local council results? Theresa May? In your dreams. The ever-growing list of MPs and Tory councillors calling for her to resign is water off a duck’s back to the impervious one, as are calls to her face that would shame a normal human being.

As she has done before, Mrs May has simply doubled down. Her ‘message to Corbyn: People want politicians to get Brexit over the line – so let’s do a deal’ wasted no time. It immediately moved the story on from the local election catastrophe. What’s more, choosing the Mail, the ersatz voice of middle England, to execute her pretence that that the election results indicate ‘a need to get on’ was a further two fingers up to the party’s right-of-centre grassroots.

It represents worse than a bunker mentality, indicative more of that time-tested ruse of totalitarians to secure power: the pretence they alone speak for the people (above party), that they alone can deliver the people’s wishes.

However much anger Kim May’s ‘last ditch plan’ to woo Labour has stirred amongst grassroots Tories, or amongst the staunch Brexiteers and Remainers of both parliamentary parties, she has outflanked her critics again.

Once again she has shown her remarkable and consistent ability to spot another cul-de-sac that leads to the implosion of the party to which she professes life-long devotion.

It is of course the Parliamentary Conservative Party, not Mrs May, that’s under pressure. It is decision time for them before May and Corbyn stitch up Brexit and possibly a second referendum that John McDonnell says is on the stocks as part of the deal.

Dan Hannan is right to say the Tories have only a few days left to save the party from obliteration, and that the problem is Theresa May herself. But as we commented yesterday, she doesn’t care. She is not merely not recognising ‘the rules by which everyone else plays’, she is deliberately flouting them.

If the Conservative Parliamentary Party does not want to succumb to her new above-party dictatorship, Sir Graham Brady will, I suspect, have to find more than the purported 70 per cent of MPs reported here  to force The Terminator out.

At TCW we continue to count the painful days to their realisation (Remainers included) that there is more at stake than Brexit. It is Britain’s previously robust democracy that May threatens.

Today is Day 31 . . .

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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