Theresa May’s political stock has risen this week. Announcing an intention to opt-out of EU law and order directives pleased Tory MPs while her decision not to extradite Gary McKinnon was popular.

But we’ve also seen the Home Secretary operating -rarely for her – beyond her brief. She played a key role in pushing Andrew Mitchell out, something she effectively confirmed on the Sunday Politics. When Andrew Neil pressed her on this, she simply replied ‘I’m not going to talk about private conversations’. Here is the exchange:-

Interestingly, she also didn’t rule out running for leader one day. Here is the exchange:-

Now, Theresa May as Tory leader might seem like a distant prospect at the moment. She is, perhaps, too cautious to ever take the risks a leader needs to and she does lack a support base in the parliamentary party. But she doesn’t rule it out, as Michael Gove does so often. And the Home Secretary’s decision to hire Stephen Parkinson, the national organiser of the No to AV campaign, is a smart move. She’s beginning to assemble the kind of political team needed by anyone who wants to keep their leadership options open.

PS For those wondering, here are Ladbroke’s odds on the next Tory leader:-

Tags: Andrew Mitchell, Conservatives, Gary McKinnon, Theresa May, Tories, UK politics