Cabinet ministers choose dinner over cheering on Theresa May

Written by David Singleton on 1 October 2018 in Diary

The culture secretary had a similar problem when he spoke in the main hall...

Delegates at this year’s Conservative party conference were queuing around the block to see Jacob Rees Mogg and fellow Brexiteers at the ‘Making a Success of Brexit’ rally.
At the event on Sunday evening, Rees Mogg was cheered as he laid into the prime minister’s Chequers deal. “It’s not only a dying duck in a thunderstorm, it’s the deadest of dying ducks in any thunderstorm,” he said.
In the main hall the next day, culture secretary Jeremy Wright struggled to get anywhere near the same number of punters. One person gleefully clocking the somewhat sparse crowd on Monday afternoon was Labour’s deputy leader and culture spokesperson…





But the culture secretary was not the only senior cabinet figure struggling to get the numbers this week.

On Sunday evening, Theresa May was the star guest at the ConservativeHome/1922 Committee drinks reception where she was introduced by 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady and Tory peer Lord Ashcroft.

The prime minister was accompanied by her communications chief Robbie Gibb and a few other Number 10 advisers. Also there were cabinet ministers Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid and Gavin Williamson. But other cabinet ministers had better plans. Michael Gove, James Brokenshire and Andrea Leadsom and others were spotted in the branch of Pizza Express near the conference centre.

One Tory insider in the room reckoned that the number of senior Tory politicians turning up to cheer on their leader was notably low compared to previous events.

“There are two ways of looking at it,” they said. “One is that it was Sunday night, most cabinet ministers were out for dinner and too busy to make it. The other way of looking at it is that not many senior people in the party want to be associated with the prime minister these days.”



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