It’s odd that no one seems to know that nine members of Theresa May’s top team have quit in a matter of weeks, leaving the sitting Prime Minister utterly isolated.
Only a couple of sources, including foreign outlets like Bloomberg in the US, have reported the latest in a steady string of resignations. Chris Wilkins, May’s director of strategy and chief speechwriter, will resign at the end of this week.
Wilkins claimed he “always planned to leave” and “still supports” May. But Bloomberg reports he was “dismayed” by the election result and Conservative campaign. And by abandoning ship, Wilkins has left May without either author of her Brexit vision. Nick Timothy, May’s co-chief of staff, also quit following the general election in June. Wilkins and Timothy wrote May’s flagship Brexit speech that she delivered in January. So now, during a crucial period of negotiation with the EU, May is without the people who crafted her Brexit position.
But you wouldn’t know that from the UK media coverage so far.
Since May’s election campaign began, nine of her top team members have resigned:
- Hayden Allan (May’s senior advisor)
- Lizzie Loudon (May’s press secretary)
- Kate Perrior (May’s director of communications)
- Nick Timothy (May’s co-chief of staff)
- Fiona Hill (May’s co-chief of staff)
- Chris Brannigan (May’s head of government relations)
- John Godfrey (May’s policy chief)
- Chris Wilkins (May’s director of strategy and chief speechwriter)
- Will Tanner (deputy to May’s policy chief John Godfrey)
Unlike the others, the resignations of Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill did receive widespread media coverage. But that was just after the general election in which May had lost the Conservatives their parliamentary majority. And at the time, the Conservatives were looking for people to take the fall for May. Timothy and Hill tried to take the blame publicly but, ultimately, the responsibility lies with May. The Prime Minister has the final say. And she picks her top team.
May’s closest ally
Wilkins, the latest to quit, has been one of May’s top architects for years. He wrote May’s famous “nasty party” speech all the way back in 2002. The Conservative Party veteran also authored May’s conference speech last October and accompanied her to meet Donald Trump after his inauguration.
The majority of May’s top team members who’ve quit publicly insist that they left in good spirits. But nine top staff members resigning in a matter of weeks surely suggests a sinking ship.
Nearly all the people responsible for May’s policy and public image are gone, while the premier herself clings on in a zombie government. Heading into the Brexit negotiations, May has lost almost everyone she knows and trusts.
Given her unworkable majority and lack of public support, it’s time for the Prime Minister herself to resign. Another general election must be triggered.
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Featured image via Flickr