Liz Truss’s numbers problem

Liz Truss's numbers problem
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With Theresa May on the way out, the Prime Minister's Cabinet colleagues are gearing up for the upcoming Tory leadership contest. While several of the would-be candidates have openly declared their intention to run – Andrea Leadsom, Rory Stewart and Esther McVey – others prefer to run a covert campaign operation behind the scenes. Of the favourites to succeed May, both Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab are thought to have significant support when it comes to the number of MPs who will back them. Meanwhile, James Brokenshire has been stealing the headlines thanks to a paper interview in which it was revealed that he owns four ovens.

Speaking on Wednesday night at the WPI Strategy party, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss confessed that she is currently losing at the numbers game:

'The race is hotting up. I'm a great believer in politics – it's not really about what you say, it's all about the numbers. That's what counts.

I'm afraid to say, I am actually struggling on that front. I don't have a great deal of numbers and some of my colleagues have built up a huge amount. I have to admit in this audience, I've only got one oven.'

Does this mean four ovens Brokenshire is now the favourite to succeed May?

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

Topics in this articlePoliticsliz trussuk politics