Brenda from Bristol despair – another General Election is all but inevitable

Julian Harris
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Theresa May Leaves For Prime Minister's Questions
Theresa May has agreed to set "a timetable for the election of a new leader" (Source: Getty)

The perspective taken by this newspaper rarely chimes with that of the Scottish National Party.

Yet it was difficult to disagree with former banker and current SNP member of parliament Ian Blackford yesterday, when he said: "The only thing we’ve learned from today’s latest fudge from the 1922 Committee is that Theresa May is so incompetent that she can’t even resign properly."

In keeping with her record in Downing Street, May has continually kicked the can down the road when pressed on her future, despite being forced to admit that she must step down. Having lost the confidence of so many of her MPs and party members alike, and without a feasible way out of the Brexit stalemate, there is no reason for her to stay in the job.

Yesterday she reluctantly took a step closer to the door (following "very frank" talks with backbench Tories) yet still insisted on the usual bungling prevarication. Following another two or three weeks of wasted time, we can expect May to "agree a timetable for the election of a new leader". Let us hope she does not exploit the wiggle room allowed by this wording to cling on, pointlessly, for any longer than necessary.

May's closest allies rhetorically ask how appointing a new leader will solve the Brexit gridlock. Indeed, there is no guarantee that it will – but that is not a reason in itself for a Prime Minister to remain in position when she cannot find majority support among her party, her government or even her Cabinet, let alone parliament.

The same can be said of the government itself. A General Election may not present the UK with a path out of the quagmire; indeed, it may muddy the issue even more. Divisions throughout the electorate are stark and party leaders remain unpopular (incredibly, Jeremy Corbyn's approval rating is worse than May's). Nonetheless, when a party cannot effectively govern, a shuffling of the parliamentary deck is inevitable. While very few of us have the appetite for another election, the next Tory leader may soon discover that he or she has no other option.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.