Attempted coups, plotting ministers, Brexit, a lost majority, scandal after scandal and Anna Soubry getting as much TV time as she possibly can, it is hard to think of a Prime Minister, or even party leader who has had to face as much adversity and as many challenges as Theresa May and she is only 18 months into the job. The slogan “Strong and Stable” was cringe-worthy for most Conservatives and outright ridiculed by Labour & Momentum, but is there some truth to it? Is Theresa May our strongest Party Leader in a generation?
David Cameron is often regarded as being a strong and competent leader of the Conservative Party, he took decisive actions and took risks, he allowed Scotland a referendum on Independence and then successfully campaigned for a United Britain, he led a coalition Government successfully despite political differences between the two groups, but then he failed, he lost the Brexit referendum, it was his first significant political failure and he resigned just a few hours later.
Personally, I remember David Cameron very fondly, he moved the Conservative Party in a direction much more in line with my own views, but he was only a strong leader when he succeeded, and he fell at the first true hurdle of his career. The same can be said for many leaders of all parties, with just two exceptions in my life time, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.
Last year Jeremy Corbyn was the political joke of the country, the fact he survived all the attacks against him and was able to walk out of a General Election with 40% of the vote is his one redeeming quality. Theresa May has since faced similar, if not worse, adversity, Grant Shapps tried and failed to instigate a coup against her, the “Pestminster” scandal has cost her one of her most senior Ministers, Boris is being Boris, and all the while she is faced with the unprecedented and almost impossible challenge of finding an all-round satisfactory resolution to Brexit. Many leaders would have quit as soon as the results of the GE17 became clear.
Theresa May alongside David Cameron when the latter was Prime Minister
I remember the article published afterwards, saying that she was crushed and was often seen in tears about it, it reported that she had “almost” lost the will to go on, it was spun as a very negative article and yet after I finished reading it I thought to myself “Would I have carried on?”, “Would I have just thrown in the towel?”, my admiration of her, which had admittedly dropped in the aftermath of the General Election, went up to the highest level yet.
Even now we are hearing of yet another coup brewing in the isolated halls of Westminster, but she is standing strong and pushing forward with her agenda, making a success of Brexit, establishing a fairer country for everyone, breaking the stereotypes of conservatism, and working to establish a global Britain. She has a vision and a plan for this country and she is standing strong against every attempt to hinder her, every attempt to crush her. She coined the phrase “Bloody Difficult Woman” and she is living up to the title.
Theresa May has proven her strength, she has proven she is a survivor, and she has proven that despite the challenges she has faced previously and will face in the future, she is not just a Strong and Stable leader, but quite possibly the strongest leader we Conservatives have seen in a generation, and a worthy heir to the party.