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Thursday, December 07, 2017

The latest absurd Westminster plot story

The problem with working in a bubble like Westminister or Cardiff Bay, surrounded by ambitious people, all of whom have an agenda and a list of enemies as long as their arm, is that people lose perspective. That is especially true of journalists who, if they are not careful, can get carried away dealing with the constant stream of rumours and innuendo they are being fed.

Of course the difference between a proper journalist and somebody riffing it on social media is that the former tends to check their sources and approach the more unbelievable stories with caution. Every now and again though, somebody might decide that even if what they are being told is not credible, it suits their paper's agenda and so it is worth running with it.

As far as I can see that last scenario is the only rationale for this story in today's Sun in which they say that supporters of the Brexit Secretary, David Davis have seized on Theresa May’s latest Brexit woes to start building another plot to sack her and put him into 10 Downing Street instead.

They say that one of Davis' closest allies, former chief whip Andrew Mitchell is organising discreet drinks evenings with him and new generation Tory MPs:

Three of the newly elected high-flyers invited to one soiree last week were Tom Tugendhat and James Cleverly – both tipped as future party leaders – as well as highly respected rookie Gillian Keegan.

Under the ‘dream ticket’ plot, Mr Davis would take over as Prime Minister from beleaguered Mrs May, but only for a few years.

The 68-year-old former SAS reservist would then stand aside for one of the new generation elected in 2015 or 2017 to take over in time to prepare for the 2022 general election.

A key ally of Mr Davis told one of the younger Tory MPs: “Theresa has the smell of death around her. “She’ll be gone by Christmas. It’s time to rally around DD.”

David Davis of course is the Brexit Secretary who led Parliament to believe that there were 58 top secret reports assessing the impact of Brexit on key sectors of the economy, only to reveal that they didn't exist when the House of Commons insisted on seeing them. He makes Theresa May look like a giant on the world stage and that is saying something.

I won't comment on his performance in negotiating Brexit with Brussels, except to point out that he has effectively been relieved of the really important stuff by the Prime Minister herself. Perhaps that is what has upset his fan club.

For the rest of us, we have to reflect that if David Davis is the answer to the incompetence of the UK Government and their determination to drive us over an economic and constitutional cliff then it must be time to rephrase the question.

The idea is so absurd that the only reason I can see for publishing the story is to further destabilise the Prime Minister and her government to make way for a more realistic contender for the leadership, if such a person exists.
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