Why does a cold mean Theresa May has to resign?

Theresa May handed P45
Theresa May handed P45. Image by John Ashmore.

To say that Theresa May has had a bad week would be something of an understatement. Those images of P45s, collapsing sets and coughing fits are now firmly embedded into British political folklore.

That said, I still do not quite see why this collection of issues mean that Theresa May has to resign. Call me naive, but last time I checked conference security and set-design are not the responsibility of the Prime Minister.

Narrative vs reality

Of course, I understand the narrative at play. If a major speech or event goes wrong for a politician who is already under pressure they inevitably face even greater pressure.  Similar happened to Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. Every misstep was a metaphor for their failed leadership.

I do not believe that this rule applies here though.  I would like to know what May herself could have done to avoid the Manchester mishaps, apart from perhaps getting a flu jab.

Failed coup

It is fair to assume then that this is why yesterday’s attempted coup has failed. Clearly, most of May’s MPs’ realise that they have no grounds to remove her now. That includes those that would ultimately like her replaced. They also realise that the midst of Brexit negotiations is not the right time to change the Prime Minister. This is magnified by the fear that any move could let Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.

Grant Shapps has become the face of the plot and has faced the brunt of Conservative MPs’ anger. Alex Wickham reports that the ex-Minister is not receiving much support from his colleagues.

Theresa May needs a win, but until someone can explain why a cold means she should resign she will stay in power at No. 10.


My first book "Not Buying It", looking at post-truth in media and politics, is being published by Unbound

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