A government website has accidentally let slip what Theresa May really thinks of her future prospects. According to The Independent, there’s a job advertisement on the civil service website for a position as the Prime Minister’s spokesperson. But the contract is only valid for two years.
That doesn’t say much about how May feels her chances are for getting to the 2022 general election. The limited contract, however, is not the only detail in the advert that makes for interesting reading.
Reporting on the advert on 12 July, The Independent argued that it “mirrors” May’s own precarious position. And outgoing Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said the ad showed May could be “turfed out by a restless party at any time”.
Regarding the length of employment, the advert reads:
[a] two to three years fixed term appointment with a view to permanency
May too surely has “a view to permanency” in her position as Prime Minister. But her hesitancy to commit to a contract for a spokesperson through to 2022 suggests she’s not entirely certain that will happen. And part of the criteria listed in the advert might explain why.
As with most job adverts, the spokesperson job details what skills are required of applicants. For this position, candidates reportedly need “the risk management and crisis communications skills needed to avoid pitfalls and fight fires”.
There’s a repetitive use of words in that instruction which centre on danger. Anyone taking on the position of PM, of course, shouldn’t expect a walk in the park. But given the current political climate, it’s a fateful use of language for May.
Her decision to bail out of Prime Minister’s Questions on 12 July also doesn’t bode well.
Unlike our actual firefighters, who recently rejected an “inadequate” 2% wage increase, May’s spokesperson will be propelled straight into the top 5% of earners. Taxpayers will be coughing up £87,500 per year for the position.
But there will no doubt be plenty of opportunities for May’s new spokesperson to fight political fires over the next couple of years. If, that is, May survives as Prime Minister that long.
Numerous reports suggest there are internal plans to oust her, perhaps within the next couple of months. And the Labour Party is ratcheting up its campaigning over the summer to place itself in a prime position should the government call another general election.
In short, May needs all the help she can get in her tenuous position. And thanks to this advert on a government website, we now know she’s well aware of that; much like most of the general public.
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