As I See It
May can do without mischief-making media
Uncertainty caused by market wobbles, “events” and natural disasters is one thing, but there is also self-inflicted uncertainty, stoked by mischief makers within her own party – and in the media.
Mrs May’s gamble on calling a general election backfired and left her with a narrow “working majority” in Westminster, fuelling daily doubts about her ability to see the job through; the most important being the fulfilment of the Brexit decision.
It is enough of a problem having a government which is struggling to build a coherent post-Brexit plan, but the Prime Minister’s chances of success can only be hindered if speculation about her tenure in Downing Street dominates the debate.
Much of this, sadly, is being stoked by the media attempting to lure key figures into saying something that will cause more, needless division.
In The Herald, trade minister Greg Hands is said to have openly questioned Mrs May’s plan to lead her party into the next general election. Really?
Mr Hands made his comments during a visit to Edinburgh when he was supposed to have been celebrating a number of business successes, which barely get a mention in the report.
It states that he has “broken ranks” by openly questioning Mrs May’s ability to lead her party into the next general election.
What he is actually credited with saying is “at the moment” he had “complete confidence” in the Prime Minister, and credited her with doing very well over a difficult twelve months.
He goes on to answer questions about Mrs May’s future with the words: “We’ll have to see” and “there is a lot to play for”, adding that a lot can happen in five years.
He said: “I think she’s doing a very good job, a very effective job. There’s a lot to be getting on with at the moment. Let’s deal with Brexit. We’ve got a number of other domestic challenges. We should be focusing on the next year or two, not focusing on five years’ time.”
That doesn’t sound any more doubting of Mrs May’s future than if he’d been asked whether he expected to be in a senior job himself in five years’ time.