British Prime Minister Theresa May was humiliated by the United Kingdom electorate last Thursday. Mrs. May came to lead her Conservative Party and the United Kingdom government after David Cameron resigned in the wake of the “Brexit” vote last June. May became Prime Minister by default when she stood unopposed for the leadership of the Conservative party. Since becoming Prime Minister, May told the British people, on no fewer than seven occasions, that she would not call a snap general election. In April, Mrs. May went back on her word, and with the Conservative party 25 points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, she called an election.
May was advised that she would achieve a landslide victory, one that would strengthen her hand during the Brexit negotiations and potentially one that would destroy the Labour party for decades. When May called the general election, the polls suggested that she could win a 180-seat majority, something that would have given May free rein to implement the most controversial Conservative policies.
Instead of winning that huge majority, Theresa May was humiliated. Her slim majority was wiped out, and as reported by the Inquisitr, she is now reliant on Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party [DUP], as she clings to power. Even within Theresa May’s party, many are horrified that May has called on the DUP for support. The DUP have links to loyalist terrorism, they are widely criticized for their opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage, and women’s rights. DUP leader Arlene Foster is mired in scandal, and high-profile Conservatives, like Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, have hit out May’s reliance on the DUP.
As reported in The Guardian, Theresa May has singlehandedly weakened her position, and many in her own party have declared that her position is “untenable.” Theresa May is politically “damaged goods,” and it is surely only a matter of time before she faces a challenge to her leadership.
Theresa May Draws Enemies Like Michael Gove And Boris Johnson Closer In An Attempt To Cling To Power
Theresa May spent the weekend out of the public eye, trying to pull together a government that would allow her to push forward her agenda for a “hard Brexit.” May had been hoping that a huge majority would allow her to ditch ministers who are seen as a liability, or against whom she entertains animosity. May’s team have spent months briefing against Phillip Hammond, and she was reportedly also set to ditch Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt in a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle.
Instead, May has left those ministers “in-post” and has brought some of her most bitter enemies back into her front-bench team. Michael Gove was set to stand against May in last year’s Conservative party leadership election but was forced to withdraw after his underhand tactics against Boris Johnson. On taking the leadership of the Conservative party, one of Theresa May’s first acts was to sack Michael Gove from his role at the UK’s Department of Justice.
For his part, as reported by the Independent, Gove said that Theresa May lacked the “moral authority” to be prime minister. Many would assume that Mrs. May would want to keep Gove as far from government as possible. According to The Guardian, there has been bad blood between May and Gove for years, instead, May has recalled Gove to the Department for the Environment in a desperate attempt to stave off a challenge to her leadership.
Boris Johnson is arguably Theresa May’s biggest threat. Johnson has always been popular with the Conservative party grassroots, and he looked set for the leadership last year before Michael Gove scuppered his campaign. Despite his denials, the Evening Standard claims that Johnson is preparing to mount a challenge to Theresa May’s leadership. Former Chancellor George Osborne is now the editor of the Evening Standard, and he too was sacked by Theresa May when she became prime minister. Osborne said yesterday that May was “a dead woman walking,” and claimed that she would have to resign “within days.”
It seems that Theresa May is living on borrowed time, her electoral failure has damaged her and her party and thrown the UK into political turmoil.
[Featured Image by Thierry Charlier/AP]