Britain’s beleaguered prime minister, Theresa May, has had scares before, but her latest set of challenges could prove fatal, those close to the matter say.
Though ostensibly America’s greatest ally, Donald Trump didn’t mention the United Kingdom or its beleaguered leader, Theresa May, in his State of the Union remarks Tuesday night. That could be for the best, as May could very well not be long for the job, according to several people close to the matter.
The British prime minister touched down in China on Wednesday and tried to swat down the speculation surrounding the latest knife-fight in and around Westminster. “I’ve said to you before, I’m not a quitter,” May told reporters aboard her RAF Voyager hours earlier.
Maybe so. But if one man in particular, her foreign secretary Boris Johnson, can get his act together, it may not be up to her. One source close to the Conservative Party leadership reports: “May is incredibly weak, and one wonders how long it can last.” But cautions: “Boris has as many admirers as he has people who loathe him in the party.”
As much has been said in the public press, prompting the constant public responses from Number 10. Keynote Financial Times columnist Janan Ganesh laments that Johnson, the longtime would-be-king, is “smelling an imminent vacancy for prime minister.” Accordingly, the foreign secretary, a more tenable Brexitier, “is expected to espouse a clearer exit soon.”
The talk of May’s imminent demise is “definitely credible” says Freddy Gray of the London Spectator, the magazine Johnson edited for more than a half-decade in his former life as a journalist. “But Boris really doesn’t want to be the one to wield the knife since, notoriously, that means you lose.”