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Will Nicholas Soames step aside to make way for Prime Minister Rudd?

Will Nicholas Soames step aside to make way for Prime Minister Rudd?
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Although Theresa May has returned from her summer holidays to find her job safe, it's only a temporary fix to the Conservative party's woes. MPs plan to keep May as Prime Minister until the end of the Brexit negotiations – by which point they hope to be able to have a Tory leadership contest which won't descend into a bloodbath.

So, who will May's successor be? In the new issue of The Spectator, Katy Balls reports that while Amber Rudd is proving a popular choice with MPs – her wafer-thin majority of 346 in Hastings and Rye remains a cause of concern. But fear not – Rudd's supporters have a cunning plan in the offing:

'One idea being touted by Rudd's supporters is that a neighbouring MP with a safe seat — such as Nicholas Soames in Mid Sussex —could step aside for her.'

While Mr S suspects that Winston Churchill's grandson would be reluctant to give up his seat, it's worth noting that both politicians were ardent Remain campaigners in the EU referendum.

Still, Rudd had best not appear to be on pre-emptive manoeuvres. Back in 2013, Soames saw red when Adam Afriyie was thought to be pitching himself as leadership rival to David Cameron. He subsequently took him to task in the Commons tea room: 'You are totally f------ disloyal, a f------ disgrace.' Hopefully this story will have a happier ending.

Written bySteerpike

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

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