Theresa May ‘simply wasn’t up to the job’

PUBLISHED: 14:42 26 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:42 26 May 2019

Prime minister Theresa May's tearful resignation statement outside Downing Street. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Prime minister Theresa May's tearful resignation statement outside Downing Street. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Prime minister Theresa May announced her resignation on Friday. Here Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere says she made several key errors which made her departure “inevitable”.

Theresa May has finally bowed to the inevitable and announced her resignation.

She is the latest in a long line of Tory prime ministers brought down by Europe. Delivering Brexit would have taxed even our most skilful past prime ministers - but Theresa May was definitely not one of those.

She was dealt a difficult hand but played it badly at almost every turn.

Given the closeness of the 2016 referendum vote and the emotions it had stirred up, the statesman-like thing to do on taking office would have been to work with both sides to deliver something which, though maybe not wildly popular, most people could live with.

Instead she connived in describing people who disagreed with her as "traitors" and "saboteurs". This sort of language would have been regarded as extreme before she became prime minister. Now it is commonplace.

Working with all parties would have been desirable at the start of her premiership. When she lost her majority following the disastrous 2017 general election campaign it was essential. But she carried on as though "nothing had changed".

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The result was that, when she needed support to get her Brexit deal through Parliament, that support just wasn't there.

She had no strategy other than to keep bringing the same deal back in the hope that enough MPs would capitulate for it to scrape through.

It was clear months ago that this wouldn't work. She should have resigned there and then to give someone else a go.

Instead she has just clung on to office, letting the whole country drift and causing views on both sides to become even more polarised.

Throughout this whole process her priorities have been her own job first, the Conservative Party second and the country a poor third.

We are now treated to the spectacle of Tory MPs, who a few days ago didn't have a good word to say for her, now lining up to say what a great job she's done.

We all know that's not true.

At a time when we needed a prime minister who was at the top of their game, the sad truth is that Theresa May simply wasn't up to the job.

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