IF A week is a long time in politics, try a fortnight. A string of sexual-harassment scandals in Westminster and beyond has been followed by some crass ministerial errors. The combination exposes the weakness of Theresa May at a crucial moment in the Brexit negotiations.
The growing reports of sexual harassment claimed a minister when Sir Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary over past behaviour that had fallen below standard. Mrs May faced criticism for replacing him with her chief whip, Gavin Williamson, a close ally with no ministerial experience. She was already tottering because her old friend Damian Green, the deputy prime minister, is under investigation by the Cabinet Office over claims of sexual harassment (and possession of porn on an office computer), which he strenuously denies. Mark Garnier, a trade minister, is also being investigated.
Ministerial blunders have further weakened the prime minister. This week she summoned home the international-development secretary, Priti Patel, who resigned after…Continue reading