I can’t pretend that I am not disappointed that Andrea Leadsom has decided not to continue in the race for the Tory leadership. She is a woman who has shown that she has exceptional qualities to offer but it is clear that 60% of MPs will back her opponent and that if the party grassroots elect her then we end up with a similar position to the Labour Party – a leader who does not command the confidence of the majority of her MPs.
Leadsom has conducted herself admirably during the course of the contest and by withdrawing to avoid the ongoing Westminster vacuum, she is acting in the best interests of the country.
I said some time ago that I felt that Theresa May would be the next PM and I take no comfort in being proven right. May has been preparing for this fight for years whilst Leadsom has only had days I’ve been unimpressed with the way she hedged her bets during the referendum. I prefer politicians who show commitment rather than steering her way through troubled waters by playing safe.
Having said this, May’s speech this morning did show her coming off the fence – although it would be nice if I had more confidence that she was actually going to deliver on what she says. Time will tell.
Hopefully, Leadsom will get a place around the cabinet table. I think it would be a bad error of judgement if May excluded her. If you are looking to unify your party then you have to include people who have stood against you. Also, not being politically naive, I wonder whether Leadsom has already received a job offer in the new government.
I have been impressed by Leadsom and wish her the very best in the future. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from her…