If the polls are anywhere near right, then Theresa May will be queen of all she surveys on June the 9th. As I say in The Sun today, not since Margaret Thatcher in her pomp will a Prime Minister have been so dominant over her Cabinet. She’ll have her own, sizable majority, her own mandate and the right to implement the policies in her manifesto.
This prospect, though, isn’t thrilling everyone in the Tory party. Some ministers worry about the fact that May will have such a free hand, and the direction she might take the government in.
Concern has been heightened by the fact that the manifesto is being written without much consultation with ministers. Secretaries of State are sending their ideas in, but they admit that they aren’t sure of what will go in even in their own areas. They also fret that once a commitment is in the manifesto, the policy will have to be implemented. One Secretary of State admits to me that they worry about ‘what I want to keep out of the manifesto more, than what I want to get into it’.
For thirty years, Europe has been the great dividing line in the Tory party. It has accounted for the last three Tory Prime Ministers. But with the referendum having settled this question, a new fault line is bound to emerge. It might well be economic, a division between dry, free marketers and those who favour May’s more interventionist approach.
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