Sunday, July 03, 2016

Theresa May dismisses suggestions that her rivals should stand down to allow a "coronation"

Last time the party then in government changed leaders, Gordon Brown was given a "coronation" and elected unopposed. That did not turn out well for the Labour party or the country.

Theresa May is a far wiser person than Gordon Brown and has resisted any suggestions that her rivals in the Conservative leadership race should be encouraged to stand down.

In terms of support among MPs it appears that the home secretary has a comfortable lead among MPs with more supporters than her rivals Mrs Leadsom, Mr Gove, Stephen Crabb and Liam Fox put together

The latest Conservative Home leadership election MP tally here is:

May 104,
Gove 25,
Leadsom 25,
Crabb 21,
Fox 8.

Guido Fawkes has also tweeted a count of supporters as follows:

May 89,
Leadsom 27,
Gove 25,
Crabb 22,
Fox 9.

(Both websites give the names of the MPs they say are supporting each candidate and the lists look reasonably consistent, the main difference being that Conservative Home appears to have a rather larger number of MPs down as having declared a preference.)

Despite being in the lead at this stage, according to the BBC Theresa May has dismissed suggestions that others should stand aside to allow her to be returned unopposed as a unity candidate, saying she wanted a 'contest' and that it was important party members, quote, 'have their opportunity to have a say.'

I think this is wise of her. I have a lot of time for Theresa May and think she might well make a highly successful Prime Minister but trying to avoid an election would have been a mistake,

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