Boris Johnson was the star of the conference today after he gave a morale-boosting speech to a packed out hall. But if there had to be a runner-up, Priti Patel came a close second.
The International Development secretary pulled out all the stops as she put in some not so subtle groundwork for the leadership. Making the most of the audience provided by Johnson, Patel proceeded to use the word ‘leader’ numerous times. At one point even going so far as to joke that ‘some of our most successful leaders have of course been the smallest’ – in reference to her height.
Thanks to the Foreign Secretary, the conference hall was full today and she made the most of it with a crowd-pleasing speech name-checking Margaret Thatcher and speaking optimistically about Brexit:
‘Influence is about knowing what you believe in, having the confidence to project British values internationally, looking outwards – not inwards, and utilising our unique history and our position as a force for good, using British values to shape a better world and create hope and optimism for the future.’
Boris may still be the members’ favourite but should the ball come loose from the scrum, expect Patel to make the most of the opportunity.