The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Theresa is toast if she doesn’t start lis­ten­ing


IF THERESA MAY is big enough to ad­mit her mis­takes and put a kinder Con­ser­vatism into the heart of her Govern­ment, she may sur­vive, re­u­nite our bro­ken coun­try and de­liver a con­sid­er­ably bet­ter Brexit deal.

The ma­cho hard talk; the petty per­sonal pur­suit of trash­ing ev­ery­thing Cameron and Os­borne achieved (in­clud­ing win­ning key mar­ginal seats like mine to de­liver a Con­ser­va­tive ma­jor­ity just two years ago); the re­jec­tion of tra­di­tional Con­ser­va­tive eco­nom­ics; and a re­fusal to em­brace those that voted Re­main (es­pe­cially the young) have been Mrs May’s un­do­ing. Theresa must recog­nise that parts of our so­ci­ety have to­tally re­jected her style of lead­er­ship, her man­i­festo and, most im­por­tantly, any hard Brexit.

As I pre­dicted, young peo­ple who over­whelm­ingly didn’t want Brexit have turned out in their droves and ex­acted re­venge on a gen­er­a­tion of Leavers who they be­lieve stole their fu­ture while en­joy­ing gen­er­ous pensions as they de­nied them the first rung on the prop­erty lad­der. For many months I’ve been knock­ing on doors in Brox­towe. It’s clear the vast ma­jor­ity of my con­stituents want us to get on with Brexit. But there was also wide­spread con­cern at Mrs May’s in­flex­i­ble ‘no deal is bet­ter than a bad deal’ at­ti­tude, with few want­ing the hard Brexit that she re­fused to rule out.

I made my po­si­tion clear to the peo­ple of Brox­towe: that I would con­tinue to make the case for the sin­gle mar­ket. The loss of the Gen­eral Elec­tion, be­cause that is what it was for Theresa May, means she must now lis­ten to all parts of the Con­ser­va­tive Party and coun­try.

Now her not-so-spe­cial ad­vis­ers have gone, she must work with all mem­bers of her Cab­i­net and lis­ten to her twin wise owls, the Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond and Busi­ness Sec­re­tary Greg Clark.

If she re­fuses, she’s toast.

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