More politics on an absurdly hot day.
The new Lib Dem leader was announced yesterday. This was a bit of a boring election and, as expected, Jo Swinson won.
The more interesting one was announced today. That being the new leader of the Conservative Party and, therefore, Prime Minister.
The rules, as expected, were changed so the Parliamentary Conservative Party could whittle down to the final two. There were accusations of gerrymandering. The theory is that Boris Johnson had so much support that he was able to get people to vote for other candidates to ensure that he faced the person he chose in the final two, when it went to the membership.
The final two were Johnson (as expected) and Jeremy Hunt. The result was never in doubt, just the margin of victory.
Then, Boris ran into a few, shall we say, public relation issues. There was the argument with his girlfriend that was so loud the neighbours recorded it. There was the bizarre admission that he liked to paint wine boxes to be busses. And there was the kipper incident.
Not that it actually mattered. Boris Johnson won the election by over 60% of the vote.
So, what does this mean?
Well, he’s said we will be out of the EU by Halloween come what may. Even if it means no deal. He had mentioned proroguing Parliament. Basically, this is a way of suspending the House. The idea is that he would prorogue in the middle of October, wait until November 1st then announce his intention to hold a General Election.
Fortunately, that’s been blocked. Sort of. A bill went through concerning working towards getting the Northern Irish parliament back up and running and the deadline is late October. There was an amendment added onto the bill calling for both Houses to be given weekly updates, with added debate time. Even if Parliament is prorogued, they would have to be brought back for this and if they are there regardless, may as well look at ways of preventing No Deal.
(Other amendments to the bill mean that if Stormont is not back in session by the October deadline then same sex marriage is legalised and abortion is decriminalised.)
Our new PM is also determined that he will go back to the EU and renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement. But there’s a slight problem. The EU has been saying ever since December that the WA is the only deal we can possibly get given the red lines we put in place and, indeed, tweeted almost as soon as the announcement was made that this remained the case.
So, what now?
Tomorrow, Theresa May takes part in her last Prime Ministers Questions, after which she will go to meet the Queen and tender her resignation as PM. After that, Boris will be invited to Buck House and be invited to form a new Government. Then he puts his Cabinet together.
Boris Johnson gets what he’s always believed he is entitled to. He will officially be Prime Minister.
There’s always the threat of a Vote of No Confidence. If Jeremy Corbyn calls it, it will automatically happen. If anyone else does, it’s up to the Speaker, though he likely will allow it to go ahead.
Would it pass though? At the moment, the Tories have a majority of 2. It’s expected that all of the opposition parties, including the DUP, would vote No Confidence. But what of the Tories? There’s quite a few who are not happy about PM Johnson and especially No Deal. Most of them would not actually vote against the Government, probably choosing instead to abstain. But then there’s the like of Ken Clarke, who doesn’t have to worry about retribution, or MP’s who don’t care who might vote NC.
Either way, I can see the motion passing. Which means a mad scramble to try and form a new Government, by any of the parties, that can command the confidence of the house within 2 weeks. When that doesn’t work, it’s the General Election that was all but inevitable.
Then? Who knows.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the latest act of the shitshow.