The Scottish Secretary, understated in his public utterances, “often makes the wittiest interjections in Cabinet discussions”.
Is he fated to be a fire-fighter, a leader grappling with crisis? Or can he find the political space to deliver a more personal message – perhaps to do with education?
To waste time now on internal factionalisation would be indefensible to so many party members who worked so hard to secure our majority.
The Northern Ireland Secretary adds that he wouldn’t “question her independence and determination to deliver a full and complete report.”
Above all, to what extent will he present a clear plan and message? My starter for ten is “help hard-working people and go for more growth”.
He tells the assembled press conference that he seeks to “not in anyway to extenuate my personal responsibility” but “to give context to these events”.
Tory MPs felt no great urge to leap to the PM’s defence, but also showed no desire to defenestrate him, and instead drifted off to lunch.
“I had no knowledge of those subsequent proceedings because I simply wasn’t there,” he says, apologising to cleaning and security staff.
With Sue Gray’s report due and a Privileges Committee report coming, the Prime Minister may not be able to break free until the autumn.
Hypocrisy tops the list of dangers for a politician – and Labour’s leader is dangerously exposed.
Although the force might be thought a tad over-zealous, the Prime Minister will not get off the hook for larger infractions than cake giving and a singsong
He is a Gulliver tied down by Lilluputian ropes. The figures scampering about his mighty frame grow bolder – tweaking a cord here, tighening a knot there.
The Home Secretary’s reticence in publicly backing the Prime Minister reflects concern from those enforcing the law about defending those seen to break it.
The Prime Minister’s manner was robust. His position is not yet robust, which means the Commons is more powerful.