Even loyal Cabinet Minister admit that the Tories can’t go on like this for another 18 months. As I say in The Sun this morning, Theresa May needs to show that the situation is going to improve.
I think there are three things that May needs to do. First, she needs to show that she is enjoying the job. Tory MPs are, genuinely, beginning to worry that May’s sense of duty is such that she’ll stay on even if she is being crushed by the burdens of office.
Now, those who work for the Prime Minister in Number 10 are adamant that she is relishing the job and wants to stay. But she needs to demonstrate that publicly.
Second, May needs a more radical domestic agenda. Even if her speech hadn’t been hit by those three disasters, it would have been inadequate to the moment. She’s right to make fixing the broken housing market her domestic priority. But what she’s currently proposing is not going to do that. As even one of those who has been out defending her most aggressively on the airwaves in the last 48 hours admits, ‘Those around her have to tell her that we need some big ideas.’
Finally, May needs to do a reshuffle. This would prove she still has the ability to hire and fire. It would also enable her to bring in some much-needed fresh blood. Too many ministers have begun to think like civil servants, seeing only problems and never solutions. Politics, as May said, has become a battle of ideas again and the Tories won’t win that with a Cabinet full of technocrats.