12 Dec 2018

Theresa May’s turbulent tenure


We won’t know for another hour or so if Theresa May will be returning here tonight with her leadership and her premiership intact. There are those who argue if she wins tonight her authority has been enhanced, boosting her chances of getting her Brexit deal through parliament.

One cabinet minister I was talking to earlier insisted today was a turning point for the PM and her deal. “Something’s changed here today,” they told me. And one of the biggest things which has changed is that she has set a time limit on how long she’s going to be living behind these shiny black doors.

By announcing she won’t lead her party into the next general election, her friends say she’s put the national interest first. And if you speak to people who really know her they say that’s characteristic of a woman whose over-riding concern is doing her duty.

A lot of MPs have a massive ego, they relish the spotlight, and all the manoeuvring in Westminster. Theresa May’s not like that. She’s quite a shy person and has little truck with the boysy political games-playing, which is both her strength and weakness. I’ve been looking back at her turbulent tenure.