Jeremy Hunt plotting 'pretty slick' leadership bid as rivals circle Theresa May

Posted on Mar 24 2019 - 6:11am by admin

Mr May will outline his vision at an event organised by will make a speech at an exclusive event organised by the Centre for Social Justice think tank run by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith. The Centre for Social Justice dinner will be held on tomorrow, with MPs expecting Mr Hunt to roll out policy various policy ideas. One told the Daily Telegraph: “It will be interesting to see what he says and if there is anything behind the curtain.”

A backbench MP claimed Mr Hunt had been running a “pretty slick” campaign to succeed Mrs May, although critics have questioned the wisdom of installing him as leader.

The backbencher said: “He’s seen as a cross between Theresa May and David Cameron’s Notting Hill set – a bit bland, but also seen as a multimillionaire rich boy, the son of an admiral.

“People in the tea room call him ‘continuity May’.”

Mr Hunt is believed to be backed by among others, Brexiteer Daniel Kawczynski and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell.

Another Tory MP said: “He needs to get support across the board – he has got to be the healing hands that bring the wounded factions of the party – and the country – back together. And that’s no mean task.”

The number of Tories being touted as possible leaders has grown as pressure increase on Mrs May.

Former education minister Robert Halfon said: “It seems everyone including the owner of my cornershop is going to run.

“We’re going to be like the Ben-Hur movie – it will be a cast of thousands.”

Another MP, who has been wooed by various potential candidates, said: “I have never been so popular. 

“It’s nice to feel wanted even if it is for a moment – it is like a one night stand.”

Another said: “There will be a lot more of this going on. They think Theresa May will be gone in a fortnight and they are prepping themselves for that moment

“All of this could be very premature. It all depends on the day – if Jeremy has had a good session on the Today programme, or if Gove has had a good session at the dispatch box.”

Frontrunners Sajid Javid, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Mr Hunt could face a challenge from, among others, Johnny Mercer, James Cleverly, 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady and former chief whip Mark Harper.

Meanwhile ERG chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg has been hosting dinners at his house for Boris Johnson as well as Tory backbenchers for several weeks.

One of those who attended the event said Mr Rees-Mogg was acting like Mr Johnson’s “campaign manager”.

Food at the dinners is prepared by professional caterers, with red and white wine, with Mr Rees-Mogg’s home described as “like Downton Abbey, with beautiful chandeliers and paintings of his ancestors”.

One MP, who has been approached by a number of would-be candidates, said: “I have never been so popular. It’s nice to feel wanted even if it is for a moment – it is like a one night stand.”

Another said: “There will be a lot more of this going on. They think Theresa May will be gone in a fortnight and they are prepping themselves for that moment

“All of this could be very premature. It all depends on the day – if Jeremy has had a good session on the Today programme, or if Gove has had a good session at the dispatch box.”

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