One upshot of May’s election fail is that the Cabinet will now be far more influential, as I say in The Sun this morning. They are determined to force her to listen to them more and not just rely on her two chiefs of staff. ‘She needs to realise she can’t do this all on her own’, complains one Secretary of State. ‘She needs a bit of help’.
The Cabinet are brutally clear about how the Tories losing their majority is May’s fault. ‘Her limitations have been fully exposed in public’, one tells me.
But May’s position is safe for now. Why? Because the Tories don’t want another election. They fear that the momentum is with Labour and that they would do even worse in an autumn poll. ‘The next time the electorate gets hold of us, they’ll do us some serious damage’ warns one former Cabinet Minister.
Tories are now genuinely fearful that Jeremy Corbyn could become Prime Minister. ‘Everything is subordinate to the need to stop Corbyn, including Brexit’ one influential Eurosceptic tells me.
This desire to avoid going back to the country means that May will be allowed to get this new minority government up and running. But her position will never be properly secure; she’ll always be just one slip-up away from a visit by the men in grey suits. ‘It’s not a given that she’ll make it to the end of July’, I’m told. Senior Tories are also clear that she cannot lead the party into another general election campaign.