Andrea leadsom

Leadsom delivers a parting shot at Bercow

Andrea Leadsom has just given a rather long and very comprehensive personal statement in the Commons following her sacking in last month’s reshuffle. She took no parting shots at Boris Johnson at all, preferring instead to focus any anger on former Speaker John Bercow, with whom she had a very long-running feud. Why did she bother giving a personal statement at all if it was just to look back on the past few years at work? Someone with very little knowledge of what has happened in Westminster in the past few years might have been forgiven for thinking that Bercow was the one responsible for her leaving government, rather than

Andrea Leadsom resigns – will others now follow?

After the 1922 executive of Conservative backbenchers decided this evening to wait until Friday to speak to the Prime Minister about announcing an exit date, there had been a view that Theresa May was safe in her position – at least for 36 hours. That is now in doubt. Andrea Leadsom has tonight announced her resignation as Leader of the House. In her resignation letter, the Brexiteer minister says that she has made the decision to leave government due to concerns over May’s position on Brexit. Of the deal as it now stands, Leadsom says she is concerned that May’s latest pitch means the government is ‘facilitating’ a second referendum

How would Andrea Leadsom fare in another Tory leadership contest?

Andrea Leadsom has become the latest Cabinet minister to suggest that they would like to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister. After DfID Secretary Rory Stewart declared his own ambition for the top job, Leadsom used an appearance on Good Morning Britain this morning to reveal her interest. The Leader of the House of Commons says she is ‘seriously considering’ entering the race after her failed attempt the last time around: ‘I’ve supported her for the last three years to get Brexit over the line. She has said she’s going, so yes I am seriously considering standing.’ In the 2016 leadership contest, Leadsom made it into the final two but

Cabinet ministers clash over length of Brexit extension

The PM presented choices to the Cabinet for the letter she is expected to write to the EU’s President Donald Tusk requesting a Brexit delay – without nailing down precisely what she will do. That said, her ministers think she will request a delay until 30 June, predicated on her somehow getting her deal ratified by MPs – with an option of an extension to the end of 2020 in the event she ever concedes her own Brexit plan is definitely an ex-parrot (or dead, for the few of you too young to remember Monty Python). May’s hope is that if this delay schedule is agreed as a legally binding

Sarah Champion does a Leadsom

Here we go again. During the last Conservative leadership campaign, Andrea Leadsom came under fire for suggesting that having children made her a better choice to be prime minister than Theresa May. In an interview with the Times, the mother of three said having children meant she had ‘a very real stake’ in Britain’s future. The furore over Leadsom’s comments was a contributing factor in her decision to pull out of the contest. Now it seems that Sarah Champion has taken a lesson from the Leadsom rule book. In an interview with the House magazine, the Labour MP suggests that tackling child sexual abuse has taken a back seat since Theresa

Andrea Leadsom sees green over Gove

Whether it’s authentic or not, the Conservative party is going green. Following Michael Gove’s reinvention as resident eco-warrior, the party has been pushing green policies – from extending plastic bag charges to saving trees in Sheffield – in a bid to prove they care. Today Gove’s Cabinet colleagues were brought into the fold – each being gifted a re-usable coffee cup this morning at Cabinet. However, could it be another Cabinet member who is really behind the green revolution? Step forward Andrea Leadsom. It’s been remarked to Mr S that Gove’s predecessor in Defra ‘never misses the chance’ to mention that many of good news green initiatives coming from that

Andrea Leadsom tempts fate

It’s reshuffle day – and the ministers thought to be in the danger zone include Justine Greening, Greg Clark, Patrick McLoughlin and Andrea Leadsom. So, with that in mind, one has to admire the decision by Leadsom to write an article for today’s Times’ Red Box on her priorities as Leader of the House of Commons for 2018. ‘Since the general election I’ve been overseeing the preparation of further bills which we will bring forward over the coming 12 months. In 2018 it will be parliament that supports the most exciting advances our country is making. We will back the development of electric vehicles and the growth of the UK’s space

Westminster sleaze is Parliament’s new hot potato

As allegations of sexual misconduct in Parliament rise and a spreadsheet of suspected sex pest MPs does the rounds, today the government attempted to take control of the situation. In a statement to the House, Andrea Leadsom promised to get a grip on the issue – as she said Parliament ‘must take action in days not weeks’. What these actions should be and who should take them remains a matter for discussion. When the issue came to the Chamber today through an urgent question from Harriet Harman, it proved a political hot potato. John Bercow addressed the House to say there must be ‘zero tolerance’ of sexual harassment in Parliament –

Theresa May’s power play pays off as government wins committee vote

Government whips can breath a sigh of relief. On what turned out to be the second late night sitting in a row for MPs, Andrea Leadsom’s motion to ensure that the government has a majority on public bill committees passed at 320 votes in favour to 301 against. This means that even though the government did not win a majority in the snap election, they will have a majority on key committees which scrutinise legislation. In the debate before the vote, opposition MPs accused the Conservatives of an undemocratic power grab – with Labour’s shadow leader of the House, Valerie Vaz, likening Leadsom to a North Korean news reader sent out to say

Theresa May must make sure that Brexit doesn’t just become a process story

The EU Withdrawal Bill is undoubtedly an important piece of legislation. But I suspect that the bickering over Henry VIII clauses and affirmative statutory instruments passes most voters by. This is why it’s imperative that Theresa May keeps reminding voters of what the point of Brexit is, of what it will enable this country to do. One of the many problems with the Tory general election campaign was that it turned Brexit into a process story. May talked endlessly about the need to strengthen her hand in the negotiations. But as Andrea Leadsom complained in the political Cabinet’s post-mortem of the election campaign, May never said what Brexit was actually

Parliament needs to do far more than just stand up to the latest government power grab

What a surprise: a government trying to make it easier to get legislation through the House of Commons. Today’s Huffington Post story that Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom is trying to ensure that there is a Tory majority on every committee scrutinising legislation is just the latest example of Theresa May’s government making every effort to make life easier for itself. Journalists at the Number 10 lobby briefing today pointed out that the Tories haven’t actually won a majority and therefore do not deserve to have a majority in public bill and delegated legislation committees. Rather astonishingly, the Number 10 spokesman responded that ‘the government has a majority on

Watch: Andrea Leadsom hails Jane Austen as one of our ‘greatest living authors’

Oh dear. Although there has been much excitement this week at the news that Jane Austen will feature on the new ten pound note, some appear to have got a bit carried away in their celebrations. Speaking in the Chamber this morning, Andrea Leadsom shared her personal joy at the news: ‘I’m delighted to join in celebrating Jane Austen, who will feature on the new ten pound note – one of our greatest living authors.’ However, given that Jane Austen sadly passed away in 1817 it appeared that Leadsom had got her dates mixed up. Happily, she was quick to realise her error – rephrasing to say that Austen was one of the

Andrea Leadsom lets slip her leadership ambitions

Although Boris Johnson, David Davis and Philip Hammond have all been on the receiving end from the Conservative party over their jostling to become the next leader, this has not put off other contenders from entering the fray. Last night, Andrea Leadsom appeared to make her own ambitions for No 10 clear, in a Commons exchange with Labour’s Darren Jones. The MP for Bristol North West said that since arriving in Parliament he had been disappointed to discover – much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – that things weren’t quite how they had seemed from the outside looking in: ‘Like in the children’s novel, ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, I always assumed


Owen Smith: I’m normal… I have a wife and children

Oh dear. With nominations for the next Labour leader set to open in a matter of hours, now is not the best time for either leadership hopeful to suffer a PR disaster. Alas, this is exactly what has happened to Owen Smith thanks to an interview he gave to Sky News. In the interview, Smith appears to claim that he is normal because he has a wife and children: It's also 'normal' not to be married or have kids. What the hell are people like this on about? — PW & (@SuperRetroid) July 18, 2016 Given that his leadership rival Angela Eagle is a lesbian with no children, his comments are not

Long life | 15 September 2016

It’s been a very patriotic weekend, ablaze with Union flags. In London there was the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and in South Northamptonshire there was the ninth annual ‘Village at War’ festival at Stoke Bruerne on the Grand Union Canal. I watched the first event on television but attended the second in person, because Stoke Bruerne is where I spend my weekends. These events, of course, were rather different in scale, but both evoked times of Britain’s greater glory and both took place under the shadow of the Brexit referendum in June. My own vote was in favour of remaining in the European Union,

Andrea Leadsom march was a ‘bit of a cock-up’, says campaign chief

It’s less than a month since Andrea Leadsom bowed out of the Conservative leadership contest, leading to Theresa May’s appointment as Prime Minister. Now Leadsom’s campaign manager Tim Loughton had given an interview to the Times in which he conducts a post-mortem on the failed bid. While the Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham is adamant that the negative headlines regarding Leadsom’s CV and motherhood comments were simply down to the ‘get Andrea campaign’, he does concede there were some things he could have done better. Take for example, Leadsom’s march of the zombies. The stunt saw a handful of supporters including Loughton take to Westminster in their suits and pearls

Long life | 14 July 2016

When you are recovering from a stroke, you spend much of the time asleep. But when you are not sleeping, you are told that the most important thing you have to do is avoid stress. All doctors agree that stress is the main impediment to recovery. But how can you possibly protect yourself against it? The causes of stress can creep up on you from anywhere without warning, and there is nothing you can do about it; and lately I have been bombarded by shocks. I was one of the ignorant for whom the victory of Brexit in the referendum was itself a shock, but this also set in train

Charles Moore

Andrea Leadsom’s line about children? Thatcher did it first

On Tuesday night in London, I spoke to Women2Win, a Conservative organisation dedicated to recruiting more women candidates. My title, suggested long ago, was ‘The Woman Who Won’. It referred to Margaret Thatcher. The day before my speech was delivered, another woman (and former chairman of Women2Win) won, so now there are two. Everyone seized the moment to compare and contrast them. There is a clear difference between Theresa May’s situation today and Mrs Thatcher’s in 1975. Mrs May, like Ted Heath in 1975, represents the side that just lost, Mrs Thatcher the side with a new idea about how to win. Mrs May is the establishment candidate: Mrs Thatcher

Robert Peston

Diary – 14 July 2016

I first met a boyish, sunny Tony Blair more than 20 years ago. Our encounters have always been slightly tense since I reported some clumsy remarks he made about tax when he was still an apprentice PM — and he reacted much as Andrea Leadsom did against the Times last week (though via A. Campbell rather than Twitter). On Wednesday afternoon at Admiralty House he is a stricken caricature of how he was: painfully thin; waxy skin; astonishingly terrible teeth. He is a brilliant actor but not that good: he has been tormenting himself over Chilcot. But he isn’t sorry for the invasion, as he told me, and would do

James Delingpole

Brexit won the battle. But now we’ve lost the war

When Jonathan Swift wanted to mock the immeasurable superficiality of British politics, he imagined it as a contest between the Big–Endians and the Little-Endians. That is, between those who believed fervently that the only way to open a boiled egg is at the pointier end; and those certain that the only proper way to attack it was from the larger, more rounded end. But that was in the 1720s and Swift was joking. Not in his most extravagantly cynical fantasies, I dare venture, could our greatest satirist have conceived that 300 years on a British prime minister would be chosen on the basis of the following question: ‘Do you think