We’ve been saying since 16 May, before Mrs May finally faced the inevitable and resigned, that “Boris Your Time Has Come”. And so it has. Okay, we also said that Jeremy Hunt would come fourth, but let’s just keep quiet about that shall we?
In the first of many crucial decisions, Boris will have already decided who will be in his cabinet. With the background of Brexit stress, the usual balance between friends and enemies gains the extra dimension of leavers vs remainers.
Any new PM will be mindful that they want complete control, and so they need a majority of ministers on whom they can rely. However, there is much sense in the old adage about keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer. As our American friends might put it, ‘better to have them inside the tent, p***ing out, than outside the tent p***ing in!’
The press has been full of speculation about who will be doing which jobs by the end of the week. One has to wonder whether most of these speculative suggestions have been planted by the people themselves (or “someone close to them” as the media put it).
So with no special insights or lobbying from the hopefuls, here is what we see;
Michael Gove – heavyweight political thinker, good record of positive change, and under-utilised at DEFRA. Strong leaver credentials were weakened by his support for the May deal. High office awaits. Will BJ be sufficiently forgiving to make him Chancellor in a recreation of the 2016 Dream-Team? We think he might.
David Davis – Good leaver credibility for resigning at Chequers. But his Brexit Secretary role wasn’t very productive. Suitable for leader of the house?
Dominic Raab – arch-leaver, candidate for Brexit Secretary, where he did okay last time, given the hand he was dealt.
Amber Rudd – a remainer, but has a decent relationship with BoJo and could help the left of the party buy into Boris’ One-Nation Tory policies to tempt them from undermining him on Brexit. High office calls for Ms Rudd.
Matt Hancock – A recent convert to Camp-Boris, despite being a strong remainer. Starting to look like his ambition counts for more than his principles. Fodder for a junior ministry.
Penny Mordant – Strong Leaver, good street-credibility, so definitely a ministerial role, could be home-office if she gets lucky
Liz Truss – We like Ms Truss and her old-fashioned Conservative ethos of small-government, competition and low taxes. We’ve see suggestions of Treasury Secretary, which amounts to the Chancellor’s side-kick. In our opinion, Liz deserves more than that, and we’d like to see her at Heath or Education.
Sajid Javid – A great politician, but maybe not the best leadership campaign. We’ve seen ideas about Saj becoming Chancellor, which we can only assume were put about by him! After all, he was very successful in the City, which surely disqualifies him for the role? However, a senior job would work. How about leaving him at the Home Office?
Jeremy Hunt – Ahhhh, the trickiest one of all. He ran a good campaign, but surely cannot win? He does need to be kept on board, but in a role where his questionable Brexit principles cannot do harm – say, how about his current job of Foreign Office, which seems to have been completely cut out of relations with EU? He certainly talked the right talk during the leadership challenge, but walking the walk could be beyond Mr Hunt. Let’s hope that his personal comments about BoJo haven’t poisoned their relationship too much!
So there you have it. Sorry if we’ve overlooked your favourite Tory (if that isn’t an oxymoron). It doesn’t even seem worth commenting about the Remainer Sabs all resigning before their inevitable sackings. No room for quizlings in the new Government!
Later this week we’ll go back to serious Brexit forecasting. Don’t miss the next exciting installment!