The distance between what May says and what’s actually happening grows bigger every minute

Theresa May
Fréa Lockley

In a week of chaos, two more Conservatives have resigned. And they did this just hours after Theresa May claimed she was “looking ahead to a busy week” with her “productive” new cabinet.

The distance between what May says and what is actually happening grows bigger by the minute.


Conservative vice-chairs Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley are the latest to resign over May’s Brexit policy:

These resignations follow those of former cabinet ministers David Davis and Boris Johnson. But at 10.47am on 10 July, May tried to create the image that everything was going well. She sent a tweet from her (hastily) reshuffled cabinet meeting:

But as the responses to May’s tweet show, no one believes her. And that was before the latest resignations.

Resign. Resign.

In Caulfied’s letter of resignation, she stated that she could not “support the direction of travel in the Brexit negotiations” because she could “not fully embrace the opportunities that Brexit can provide”. And in a similar critique of May’s so-called “Chequers compromise”, Bradley said it offered “the worst of all worlds” and would “not deliver a Brexit in spirit”.

But something must be going on behind the scenes. Because just five days ago, Bradley offered his full support for May:

And it’s not just Bradley who’s turned on May. Because in response to her ‘everything’s fine’ tweet, it’s virtually impossible to find a single word of support for the prime minister.


At the time of writing, May’s tweet has over 1,400 responses. But there is little – if any – support for her. In fact, many comments seem to come from former Tory voters:

And these don’t seem to be empty threats, because the latest polls put Labour two points ahead at 40% and the Conservatives at 38%. The Conservatives have dropped three points in just two weeks. And some apparent Tory voters have openly said they will now vote Labour:

Meanwhile, lots and lots of people have called for her resignation:

And May’s efforts to weave football with politics didn’t go down too well either:

A very long week

A week – so the saying goes – is a long time in politics. And this week has been exceptional.

If May clings on, it’s now utterly beyond doubt that her government is fractured. And it seems the only person who won’t acknowledge that is May herself. But the distance between what she says and what’s actually happening grows bigger every minute.

With resignations now coming on a daily basis, the country is watching with bated breath. Who’ll go next? Get the popcorn…

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