Sunday, June 08, 2014

Chris Huhne on Gove vs May

His political career over, Chris Huhne has (among other things) returned to his first profession as a journalist and become a substantial political commentator through his weekly Guardian column.

In tomorrow's paper he looks at what the row over Muslim schools tells us about the balance of power in the Conservative Party:
Cameron will have been dismayed that polling has already begun about his successor, and will have noted both Gove and May in the frame as potential successors. However, the most dangerous rival is clearly May. Gove is a Cameron courtier who is still trying to build a base in his party. He is the jester to the Cameroons, with a great line in mimicry and good gossip. 
May is much less fun. She is a tougher and more substantial figure in her own right. She is capable of the full range of political tactics from cool charm to unstoppable steamroller. And May tops the latest Conservative Home succession poll, well ahead of Boris Johnson: all the more reason for the prime minister to do real damage to her, rather than merely symbolic damage.
Chris concludes that the real lesson of the affair comes not from Cameron's reaction but from the original spat:
The most senior Tories now think power is ebbing away from the prime minister.

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