FOR A prime minister at the peak of her powers, it would have been unfortunate. For one barely clinging to her job, it amounted to almost cosmic levels of bad luck. First, Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester was interrupted by a prankster who was somehow allowed to hand her a P45, a form given to British workers when they get the sack. Then she suffered a coughing fit that not even a lozenge gallantly provided by the chancellor of the exchequer could halt. Finally, letters from the slogan on the wall behind Mrs May began dropping off one by one. Sitcom writers would have thought it a bit much.
After calling an election this spring that stripped the Tories of their majority and cost 30 of her MPs their job, Mrs May already faced a tough gig. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, had spent the previous fortnight trampling government policy with apparent impunity (see <a…Continue reading