It would be hard to describe Theresa May’s post-election, premiership as anything other than weak. But, weirdly, this weakness is turning into something of a strength as I say in The Sun this morning. No one in the Cabinet thinks that May can recover sufficiently to lead the Tories into the next election, so no one is in a huge rush to replace her.
May is also helped by the fact that there would have to be a leadership contest if she went. ‘No candidate is reconcilable with both Leave and Remain’ laments one Cabinet Minister who has explored whether a coronation would be possible.
With no appetite for a time consuming and potentially bloody leadership race, May’s position is safe for the immediate future.
In a sign of how much May is now having to govern with her Cabinet, I understand that six Cabinet Ministers are being given approval on any confidence and supply deal with the DUP. This Big Six of Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, Boris Johnson, Michael Fallon, David Davis and the new First Secretary of State Damian Green are being kept closely informed of the DUP’s demands.
The involvement of this Cabinet Big Six means that the confidence and supply arrangement isn’t just Mrs May’s deal, meaning it is more likely to survive her departure from Downing Street. But Mrs May may end up lasting rather longer in Number 10 than Westminster was expecting on the 9th of June.