James Forsyth

Tories rally round Theresa May, but the difficult decisions remain

Tories rally round Theresa May, but the difficult decisions remain
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Theresa May should offer to go to the 1922 Committee every week between now and March 2019. Her appearance led to a, predictable, rallying round. There was the usual desk banging and lots of calls for unity. I’m told there were about half a dozen questions on tone and language following the hideous quotes given to the Sunday papers.

Tellingly, Steve Baker, the ERG’s lead organiser, tried to turn the tables and present his group as the real loyalists. He asked the Prime Minister if those Tory MPs saying they would vote down no deal were hurting the her negotiating position. She agreed that this was not helpful.

As one Cabinet Minister said to me afterwards, if you’re expecting fireworks when the Prime Minister comes to the 1922, you’ll always be disappointed. The dynamics of the meeting will always lead to a show of unity. But this evening did go about as well as May and her team could have hoped. Leaving afterwards, she was visibly relaxed.

But tonight doesn’t change the fact that Theresa May still has to take a slew of difficult decisions many of which will deeply divide her Cabinet. With negotiations in Brussels expected to resume tomorrow, there are some tough—almost impossible—choices coming down the tracks.