This leaves the door wide open for Home Secretary Theresa May to move into 10 Downing Street without too much delay.
I do not wish to be patronising, but Leadsom was not oven-ready to become Prime Minister. She would, inevitably, have lost to May had she continued as a contender, and the nation would have been stuck with a nine-week campaign whose result was pretty well assured, anyway.
Leadsom had a torrid campaign, with questions asked about her CV, and ultimately a flaming row with The Times newspaper over its “despicable” reporting of an interview with her over the motherhood issue.
She was, quite frankly, unwise to react as she did. Having seen the interview, I do not know how any newspaper could have interpreted it in any other way. In short, her reaction was naive and simply demonstrated how unfit she was for the job.
Now we can look forward to a new era in British politics with Theresa May leading the way.
But I don’t think we have heard the last of ambitious Andrea. She will, I suspect, have another go when the opportunity occurs again. And maybe Theresa will reward her with a bigger and better job in the new administration. We shall see... But certainly exciting times lie ahead.
- How wrong were those pundits – cynics most of them – who assumed that the long-delayed Chilcot Report into the Iraq War would be the usual whitewash? Far from it.
The report castigated the planning of the operation, and how troops were sent in ill-equipped for what lay before them. And what has been described as the “catastrophic consequences” of the invasion, were barely considered. In short, it could hardly have been more damning.
However, I am glad the Commons, when it first debated the report, did not turn Tony Blair into an Aunt Sally. He was to present a pathetic figure trying to explain his disastrous decision, but which he thought to be the right one at the time.
I would hope that one lesson to be learnt will be that never again will a British Prime Minister be able to follow timidly, without questioning, the whims of a bellicose US president.