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With Gove gone, the Tories must now choose: experience or Brexiteer?

7 July 2016

4:24 PM

7 July 2016

4:24 PM

So, Tory members will choose between Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom to be their leader and the UK’s Prime Minister.

May will enter the membership ballot as the firm favourite. She has the support of the vast majority of MPs and her experience—six years as Home Secretary and 17 years on the front bench—contrasts sharply with Leadsom, who has only been a Minister for two years.

Leadsom’s main selling point, however, is that she supported Brexit while May did not. She will argue that the policy should be implemented by someone who believes in it and argued for it.

Michael Gove’s elimination was not that surprising. His leadership bid could never get over the nature of his entry into the race, abandoning Boris Johnson at the last minute to run himself.

It is worth remembering that at tea-time last Wednesday, the three most prominent Tory Brexiteers were all planning to run on a joint ticket. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom would have been a formidable team. The failure of this triumvirate to hold together is one of the great failures in recent British political history. At precisely the time when Eurosceptics needed to take responsibility and come together to show that Brexit could work, they splintered.

Tory members must now choose between experience and a Brexiteer. They can’t have both.

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