July 13th, 2016, will go down in the annals of history as a great deal for London’s removal companies. Hauling the Cameron’s family possessions out of Number 10 and replacing them with a rather dull, soon-to-be retired couple. Yes. I’m talking about the removal of Mr David Cameron from the helm of the HMS United Kingdom, and his replacement by Mrs Theresa May.
The start of the week the Britsh electorate were in the full throngs of Andrea Leadsom’s “Mother comment“, in reference to the Brexit outcome and Mrs May’s apparent inability to emphasise for those, suffering from the Titanic exit of Britain from the Common Market, with children. So the stage was set for a two-pronged female Tory party leadership race. However, like I said, there were two at the start of the week and by mid-Monday morning, there was one. This was the sort of victory that Mrs May can bask in the limelight from. Clearly, the Tory bigwigs had taken Andrea Leadsom aside and said, ‘drop out, and we’ll make it worth your while’. Speculation on my part but I bet that’s what went down! By Wednesday, just before 18:00 BST, Mrs May, was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. And just as Mr Cameron pointed out during the day’s raucous, that is PMQs, “that’s 2 points to the Tories” [in reference to the Conservatives now having appointed two female Prime Ministers].
Apparently “Brexit means Brexit”, so the big question on everyone’s mind is, will the former Home Secretary improve on her previous track record? Her speech added to the continuing rallying of Sterling and the FTSE.
What surprised me, and certainly surprised most pundits and analysts is the appointment of Borris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, to the Cabinet. Is this tactical? Is this future PM material in the making? I think it is. I think this is an opportunity for Mr Johnson to prove his worth after ruining Torie grandee profits. Or perhaps this is ‘punishment’ for the 52% of the population voting to leave the EU? Time can, and will, only tell how (in)competent he is in this position.
So where does this leave the UK? I think it leaves us in a slightly stronger place. Mrs May has already visited the First Minister to talk about the UK’s union. She is our second female PM. Perhaps she will continue in the late Mrs Thatcher’s footsteps and complete the fourth revolution? I haven’t watched her inaugural speech, from outside Number 10 yet, that’s tomorrow’s job but from what I’ve heard, colleagues and friends say, she looks serious; unlike her predecessor, and in addition, her cabinet has less elite educated members – it appears that she’s trying to balance the books. She removed her rivals dispatching them quickly. Osborne and Gove are gone! She is shoring up her position; cementing it in true Machievelan style. She has asserted herself and assuaged the First Minister; this was an astute move, and clearly something she has been thinking about – or her team – for a while.
Mrs May enters office at the ripe old age of 59 with less than 20 years’ experience as an MP. So far she’s said a few fancy, checkbox ticking, speeches. The real test will come in the weeks and months when we really see if she is made of true grit. But one thing is for sure. Just like Germany’s Mrs Merkel; our Mrs May will not be in a rush to formally announce Brexit negotiations until the end of 2016.