By Matilda Jacobs
A recent survey found that more than half the Conservative party wants Theresa May to resign before the next election. Although some claim this would create unwelcome instability in a period of economic and political turbulence, it is impossible to deny that Mrs May has lost any semblance of authority.
Despite winning their largest share of the vote since 1983, the Conservative Party fell short of an overall majority for the first time in eighteen years. This has resulted in deeply divided cabinet and party, presenting May with insurmountable hurdles when attempting to drive through the policies she advocated in her own manifesto, something illustrated by her being forced to axe the so-called ‘dementia tax.’
As her credibility has crumbled domestically, it has had disastrous consequences on the world stage. Entering Brexit negotiations, the UK will be hampered by being in a much weaker position than desired. Furthermore, she has lost the respect of her European partners. At a time when we need the strong and stable leadership Mrs May advocated throughout her political campaign, she is symbolic of a weakened Conservative party, with members on both sides of the House taking every opportunity to ridicule her.
The mess in which she finds herself and the decisions that led to it throw into sharp relief the unique skills required to be a successful Prime Minister. Undoubtedly a competent Home Secretary, she lacks the fundamental leadership skills required to succeed in Britain’s most powerful political position. She may be genuine and principled, but she cannot transact with her party so as to manoeuvre policies through the Cabinet, and she lacks the ruthless streak necessary to govern a fractious party like the Tories.
The last time a British Prime Minister was humiliated in such a manner in a vote they called themselves, they resigned the very next day: as David Cameron did in June 2016. So now, Theresa May should too.
Photograph: Avaaz via Flickr