Brexit Fallout: Conservative Leadership Contest

Who’d have thought that with only ten or so minutes before the deadline for nominations that Boris Johnson would announce he’s not running for Conservative leader, and thus Prime Minister?

Well, me as it happens. Twitter is awash with folks saying he screwed over the country for a job he no longer wants, but I don’t think he ever wanted it. I’m sure he was asked on Have I Got News For You? if he would consider it and said no, but I now can’t find the episode in question. Disturbingly, I think I may have dreamed it.

So we have our list of candidates, and now it’s up to the Conservatives to decide amongst themselves who will be our next Prime Minister. It seems unfair that the fate of the country now rests in the hands of 150,000 Conservative party members, but as Leave militants keep yelling at anyone who dares to suggest that 52-48 isn’t a true majority, even after Farage said the exact same thing in May: it’s called democracy stoopid!!1!

Out of interest, I have checked the voting records of the candidates on tuition fees, same sex marriage, repealing the bedroom tax, air strikes against ISIS in Syria and of course the EU Referendum.


Stephen Crabb (Gov.uk)

Stephen Crabb
Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP Image from gov.uk

Constituency:

Preseli Pembrokeshire, since 2005

Governmental Roles:

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, since March 2016

Secretary of State for Wales, July 2014 – March 2016

Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Wales, September 2012 – July 2014

Tuition Fees:

Aye

Same Sex Marriage:

Nay

Bedroom Tax Repeal:

Nay

Air Strikes in Syria:

Aye

EU Referendum:

Remain

My verdict

In honesty, I hadn’t heard much about Crabb until he announced his intention to run. He has “close links with a number of charities which help young people overcome challenges”, which the public may find admirable, although he has already had to face accusations of homophobia after voting against same sex marriage. His votes against leaving the EU and against repealing the bedroom tax could also find him at odds with a public still bearing a grudge at the Conservatives’ austerity measures.


Liam Fox (Gov.uk)

Liam Fox
Rt Hon Liam Fox MP Image from Flickr

Constituency:

North Somerset, since 1992 (Woodspring 1992 – 2010)

Governmental Roles:

Secretary of State for Defence, May 2015 – October 2011

Tuition Fees:

Aye

Same Sex Marriage:

Nay

Bedroom Tax Repeal:

Nay

Air Strikes in Syria:

Aye

EU Referendum:

Leave

My verdict

He quit as Defence Secretary over allegations regarding his working relationship with advisor Adam Werrity. He over-claimed £22, 476.03 in expenses for mortgage repayments on his second home. He breached parliamentary rules by not declaring a trip to Sri Lanka paid for by the Sri Lankan government in the Resister of Members’ Financial Interests. Despite this, his constituency keeps re-electing him with 45-55% of the vote, so they must see something in him. The bookies have him as the outsider, and I’m inclined to agree.


Michael Gove (Gov.uk)

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP Image from gov.uk
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP Image from gov.uk

Constituency:

Surrey Heath, since 2005

Governmental Roles:

Secretary of State for Justice, since May 2015

Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury), July 2014 – May 2015

Secretary of State for Education, May 2010 – July 2014

Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, July 2007 – May 2010

Tuition Fees:

Aye

Same Sex Marriage:

Aye

Bedroom Tax Repeal:

Abstained

Air Strikes in Syria:

Aye

EU Referendum:

Leave

My verdict

He voted to raise tuition fees while he was Education Secretary, which about sums him up. Higher tuition fees raise more money for the government, but if the idea is to make higher education more accessible to every child, no matter their background, forcing them to pay tuition fees that only the richest can afford outright seems a poor way to do it. Guaranteeing future generations a lifetime of debt from student loans is not the best way to get them to go to university. Furthermore, a leaked email written by his wife suggests that the government are in the pockets of Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre.

In addition to all of the above, he was considered the foundation of Boris Johnson’s support base for leadership. The public may well see this as Gove stabbing his friend in the back for fun and then running away giggling about it. Personally, I don’t fancy his chances, and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the first to go.


Andrea Leadsom (Gov.uk)

Andrea Leadsom MP Image from gov.uk
Andrea Leadsom MP Image from gov.uk

Constituency:

South Northamptonshire, since 2010

Governmental Roles:

Minister of State for Energy, since May 2015

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, April 2014 – May 2015

Tuition Fees:

Aye

Same Sex Marriage:

Abstained

Bedroom Tax Repeal:

Nay

Air Strikes in Syria:

Aye

EU Referendum:

Leave

My verdict

She gave a spirited performance in the BBC Referendum Debate, and gave as good as she got. She refused to concede any ground in her arguments, which I admire as I’m much the same myself. Yes, she voted Leave, and I didn’t agree with her on that, but I can’t fault her on the courage of her convictions. As a female candidate, she is likely to be popular with female voters, but she is likely to be overshadowed in the race for leadership in this respect by Theresa May.


Theresa May (Gov.uk)

Rt Hon Theresa May MP Image from gov.uk
Rt Hon Theresa May MP Image from gov.uk

Constituency:

Maidenhead, since 1997

Governmental Roles:

Home Secretary, since May 2010

Minister for Women and Equalities, May 2010 – September 2012

Tuition Fees:

Aye

Same Sex Marriage:

Aye

Bedroom Tax Repeal:

Nay

Air Strikes in Syria:

Aye

EU Referendum:

Remain

My verdict

An almost certainty after Boris Johnson’s decision not to run. She even rated higher than Boris Johnson in a YouGov poll (June 27 – 29) of Conservative party members which surely says something about the state of the nation post-Brexit, as she was a Remain campaigner. She rated highest as a strong leader, best at uniting the party, best reflecting the member’s personal views, most prepared to take tough decisions, most able at handling a crisis, and even best at negotiating a new deal with the EU. Her time in government has been far more prominent than that of Andrea Leadsom which, along with her work as Minister for Women and Equalities, puts her at the fore for the women’s vote.


So there you go. All five candidates voted the same way on raising tuition fees and launching air strikes against ISIS in Syria (for), and mostly the same on repealing the Bedroom Tax (against).

In my opinion, which is in no way meant to suggest how the election will go, mostly because I’m a Lib Dem and as such I’m ineligible to vote, the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister will be…

Theresa May

Theresa May
I disagree with her on so much it makes me dizzy, but I think she’s most likely to get the job.

 

Thanks for reading. I hope you found this as informative as I did. Now I have to do some real work.

Rebecca


Voting information was obtained from the following sources:

Tuition Fees

Same Sex Marriage

Bedroom Tax (Gove)

Air Strikes in Syria

EU Referendum (intent to vote)

2 Replies to “Brexit Fallout: Conservative Leadership Contest”

  1. Réponse (presque) au hasard : parce que c’est un puissant outil de consolidation des structures hiérarchiques et des lignées (les mâles ayant besoin de s’assurer que les rejetons pour lesquels ils se &lbuso;&nasp;battent&nbqp;» portent bien leurs gènes) ?

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