Conservative leadership contest heading for car crash comedy

The two-woman finale of the Conservative Party Leadership contest is coming perilously close to a serial comedy car crash.

The big question is what will  the increasingly flaky Andrea Leadsom be caught at next?

She had clearly heavily egged her narrative on her former jobs in the City of London – a narrative bought without investigation by the senior right wingers in her party who support her and who go weak at the knees at the sight of the cleavage and legs Leadsom is constantly willing to put out there.

Then there’s that smile – often visibly switched on and gone in a flash under pressure – as was seen when Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, had the Leavers on the ropes during the last televised debate.

Her tax affairs appear to be giving her trouble in publishing, since she has now missed the deadline she set herself to make them public were she to be one of the final two contenders to – hold your breath – be Prime Minister of Britain.

Today she is reported by a respected journalist in The Times to have , in an interview, expansively detailed the difference between herself – ‘a mum’ – and her childless opponent, Home Secretary, Theresa May.

Leadsom kindly  imagined the sadness Theresa must feel.

She said that Theresa may have ‘nephews, nieces and lots of people’ but that she herself has children who will go on to have children [her certainty on this matter would seem to be in advance of chance and biology] – and that the fruits of her womb give her an investment in the country’s future of far greater substance than anything May can manage.

When Sky News’ late press review last night focused on this Times story for today – to unanimous horror at the awfulness of Leadsom’s electioneering tactic – one of the guests, Alex Deane – who was Chief of Staff to David Cameron as Shadow Secretary of State for Education – and who is a Brexiteer, declared himself to be supporting Andrea Leadsom for the leadership  ‘… but Boy, does she make it difficult’.

Within minutes the smiling one had tweeted to say that she was horrified and that ‘this is the exact opposite of what I said’.

It is hard to work out just what ‘the exact opposite’ of what she has been reported to have said might be – and how it might remotely be credible.

Did she say that she herself has no children and May has a homegrown football team? Did she say that her children are an impediment to her connection with the affairs and the future of the country; and that May has the edge in her greater freedom to focus on the big issues? Of course she can have said neither ‘exact opposites’ to what is reported.

Leadsom went on to tweet [not phone or write to The Times – both so tediously private] in emotive terms on the newspaper’s ‘hateful journalism’ and demanding that they produce a transcript of her interview to support what has been reported.

The BBC is this morning carrying in this article what appears to be that transcript and Leadsom is now rowing back hard, complaining only about the ‘presentation’ of what she would seem to accept that she said.

The reality is that no one could have made this one up and the journalist is a widely respected one who would have no reason to go so spectacularly off piste – whereas, as was endlessly manifest during her two Brexit debate performances, Leadsom’s sales mantra throughout was ‘as a mum’. Objectively, the balance of probability is against her.

There are those tax returns to come – and what else?

Never has May’s sober straitlaced competence been so compelling.

John Donne’s 17th century unforgotten declaration settles a few issues here. He said: ‘No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.’

Not personally having children, by choice or by happenstance, has never been a barrier to empathy and connection. And Britain has become that clod, literally washed away by the sea and leaving Europe the less.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Two assassinations by two female journalists in less that 24 hours. Would a male journalist have been so vicious and biased ? This knocks all the other questionable goings on over the last two weeks into a cocked hat. It proves that the press have the ability to supply ample blood for the waiting vampires.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

    Malcolm Kirk July 9, 2016 12:12 pm Reply
  • Who, I wonder, will be the first to voice the unspoken thought that La Leadsom might view her kids primarily as profitable assets – their ‘family value’ in her fight against Theresa May is surely as nothing compared to their financial value as company directors in her arrangements to dodge paying as much tax as possible – sorry, to provide for her children’s future financial well-being.
    Nothing, of course, to do with her glorious past career and questions about just how much of it involved applying creative ways to bilk this country out of as much tax revenue as humanly (or maybe inhumanly) possible, on behalf of her corporate and private clients, herself, and (of course) her children.
    In the words of some of her senior Tory backers (I wonder how many have been promised jobs if she becomes PM?) a wonderful person. Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

    Robert Wakeham July 9, 2016 12:19 pm Reply
    • You prove my point Robert admirably – thanks

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

      Malcolm Kirk July 9, 2016 12:56 pm Reply
  • As Kevin McKenna wrote this morning in the Herald,the union is in tatters and if Nicola Sturgeon can’t get us out now,she never will.
    I don’t think she will wait long. I hope not as an ardent unionist cousin of mine visited me in Argyll last night. We don’t talk politics now after the Referendum however he broached the subject himself and declared he would vote,with a heavy heart,for Independence tomorrow.He feels badly let down by Westminster governance stating the corruption of Chilcott and Hillsborough.
    If he is going to vote Yes the Union is finished and all talk of two socially deranged woman from a Foreign Counrty overloading Scotland is futile,to say the least.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 16

    A.Salmon July 9, 2016 1:57 pm Reply
    • ‘Socially deranged’? – I must admit to an intense dislike of a she-wolf busy reinventing herself as shepherdess, but in terms of ‘socially deranged’ you only need to look at some of your recent comments, AS.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

      Robert Wakeham July 9, 2016 2:14 pm Reply
      • Couldn’t care less what people say about me,Robert.I’m more interested in Scotland right to self determination.
        I have no respect,whatsoever,in Westminster nonsense and will mock,expose,and generally besmirch anything they do or say,till the coos come home,so to speak.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14

        A.Salmon July 9, 2016 2:59 pm Reply
        • A Salmon, what happened to the 1,300,000 Scots who didn’t think it was worth voting in the EU referendum, why is it the SNP and yourself ignore the act that adding them to the ‘out’ vote paints a totally different picture.
          If Ms Sturgeon is so keen to break up the union get on with it, say goodbye to the Barnet formula and pay the EU membership fee, negotiate a trade deal wit rUK and set up the border controls.
          With your attitude there will be no favorable terms and rUK is Scotland’s biggest export market.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

          richard July 9, 2016 4:44 pm Reply
          • There were a sizeable proportion of the exiters were from Home Counties South (don’t you miss Come dancing -they always won!!)and the Principality Probably around 600000.

            No if Scotland remains in the EU all the brexiters can head to rUK land. That will offset all the folk wanting to remain in the EU with jobs etc. By the way take your nuclear weapons with you. We don’t need Dick’s like you undermining Scotland.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 13

            No Cheese Here July 9, 2016 4:55 pm
          • Is it helpful to maintain the fantasy that Scotland can magically remain in the EU? There is no mechanism for this to happen and nobody in authority in Brussels or the member states is suggesting otherwise.

            As far as joining the EU as a candidate country we would need to meet the Copenhagen criteria. Amongst other rules these specify having our own currency with a central bank and a deficit of <3%; Scotland has a deficit of ~10%, given how unpopular the combined austerity of Osborne and Swinney has been I can't see a £2bn budget cut being a massive vote winner.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

            db July 9, 2016 11:34 pm
          • Richard,
            Some of them were students, two home owners and others who are quite legitimately on more than one electoral register, but of course only voted once . Others had some unforeseen emergency that occurred stopping them turning up to vote on the day. Some have just moved house and of course some have just died and the electoral register hasn’t been updated to reflect this either. There are a whole variety of reasons both administrative and personal that contribute to a less than full turnout at election. It’s disingenuous to suggest that 1,300,000 Scots didn’t think it worth voting.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

            jake July 10, 2016 4:28 pm
    • What a very sad person you are A. Salmon to have so much hate and loathing for anything to do with England or Westminster!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 6

      'Felicity' July 9, 2016 2:55 pm Reply
      • Who mentioned England and why would I.
        Making things up again?
        Westminster is being mocked all aver the world right just one of Billions laughing at them!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 18

        A.Salmon July 9, 2016 3:01 pm Reply
    • AS

      When you state ‘if Nicola Sturgeon can’t get us out now,she never will’ I think you would do yourself, and your other Indy loyalists a favour and read todays Financial Times article ‘ he case for Scottish Indpendence suddenly looks a lot stronger’ ( )

      But don’t get too excited.For the 2014 Referendum your namesake rejected the same currency and fiscal recommendations,and Nicola S shows no evidence that she is even considering any of the currency and fiscal recommendations.

      So one can only agree with you, when you state’if Nicola Sturgeon can’t get us out now,she never will’

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

      Scotnat July 9, 2016 5:38 pm Reply
  • Cameron has arranged the date of the commons Trident Renewal vote.July 18th.
    This just goes to prove that the loons in Government do not do forward planning. Where are they going to base the nuclear weapons as they sure as hell are not siting them here.Scotland would have left Ukok by the time they are built.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 14

    A.Salmon July 9, 2016 2:54 pm Reply
  • The Argentinian Peso has outperformed Sterling_ official.
    Great to know we are being ruled by idiots.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

    A.Salmon July 9, 2016 4:33 pm Reply
    • AS

      For you information in 2000 the Argentinian Peso had parity with the US$ but has declined since to 0.07. In the same period sterling has only declined from 1.45 to 1.30

      To which idiots are you referring ? Argentinian?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

      Scotnat July 9, 2016 5:23 pm Reply
      • Bullington and Westminster whom!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

        A.Salmon July 9, 2016 8:37 pm Reply
  • felicity

    the hate brigade and brexitors believe we work for them- (Assuming you have a job), they believe we should die for them- while their kids are on internships in the US,
    I for one believe the imposition of nuclear weapons are morally repugnant. I was told by the No’s that voting for an independent Scotland would force us out of the EU. Guess what. Were they lying or ignorant? Probably both.

    Scotland voted wholly for an SNP Westminster group who are against nuclear weapons. Democratic deficit still exists.

    Westminster’s view is the Scot’s don’t matter and should “..dae as their telt.” They loath and detest Scotland Felicity.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 13

    No Cheese Here July 9, 2016 4:49 pm Reply
  • The episode is exposing Leadsom’s relative inexperience at high office. Every comment will be analysed for an angle and from what I’ve seen of the transcript she made a comment, then dug a hole, then jumped in it. It total inexperience and naivety not to realise this would be spun. In my view, this discounts her for the PM’s job. We need an experienced operator at this difficult time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

    Jerry McIver July 9, 2016 5:48 pm Reply
    • Agreed.
      It is also notable that every point that has been challenged about what Leadsom had herself said about her former city career – not just on the record but on a variety of records – has led to a retreat to a much more modest claim.
      She now says that she DID do ten years at Barclays BMZ and that she DID do ten years at Invesco Perpetual [no one had said she hadn’t]. But she had claimed that she ‘led the investment team’ at Barclays; and that she had managed major investment funds.
      Neither statement was close to being correct – hence her latest verbal revision seeing a focus on the time periods she spent at both organisations.
      She had also said, on more than one occasion, that in 1995 she had been brought in by the then Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, as one of a high level team of bankers that ‘sweated out the weekend’ together, reassuring the banks and the markets after the collapse of Barings bank.
      After that was challenged, with no one involved remembering her as being part of that weekend group, the latest version is that she did not actually ‘sweat out the weekend’ – but had been asked to make reassuring phone calls to banks from her own office.
      And today, in spite of the transcript and the audio recording of her interview [where the vocal emphasis in ‘… she probably has nieces and nephews and lots of people – but I have CHILDREN’ is very telling] with Rachel Sylvester of The Times, she no longer claims that what was reported was ‘the exact opposite’ of what she said to the journalist – but that she has been misrepresented.
      This is all just so flaky; and at best it smacks of Mitty.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

      newsroom July 9, 2016 9:39 pm Reply
      • But wasn’t Walter Mitty portrayed as a harmless fantasist? – I think Andrea Leadsom is far from harmless.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

        Robert Wakeham July 9, 2016 10:11 pm Reply
        • If she ges within range of being PM, she sure is.
          At the moment she’s become a bit of a joke – but the voting constituency for the leadership has a substantial number with fairly simple perspectives and demands.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

          newsroom July 9, 2016 10:21 pm Reply
  • Sturgeon!
    Anything else from London is fraudulent

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

    A.Salmon July 9, 2016 8:38 pm Reply
  • Leadsom was actually asked a question about family and motherhood which she answered

    The Times journalist at first claimed that Leadsom had brought up the subject but changed her story later in the day and admitted that she brought it up. This is confirmed from the excerpt of the audio recording released by the Times, so far they are refusing to release the whole recording.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    Lundavra July 9, 2016 10:06 pm Reply
    • Newsroom – could we have your response to the serious accusations contained in Lundavra’s post above. Seemingly the female Times journalist told a lie which you have spread. How many more lies has she told to ‘get the headline’ Also she is apparently withholding information which might shed new light on her accusations – and yours for that matter so very suspect. The fact that this Andrea Leadsom was giving an interview to a major newspaper for the most senior political position in this country and apparently in the 60 minutes allocated spent most of her time talking about how she had children and her competitor didn’t, is unbelievable ! I hope she sues the female journalist and the Times editor for all she can get because they have wilfully bent and twisted a democratic process.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

      Malcolm Kirk July 10, 2016 8:35 am Reply
      • I get the impression there is an organised campaign to block Leadsom.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

        Lundavra July 10, 2016 9:52 am Reply
        • Quoting from the link above

          “However the partial audio released from The Times has Rachel Sylvester introducing the issue in a question thus:

          Rachel Sylvester: “Does your family inform your politics? Do you think motherhood – I thought it was very interesting during the debates you several times said, ‘as a mum’. Do you feel like a mum in politics?”

          Which clearly contradicting Rachel’s claim made at 09:04 to the BBC:

          Rachel Sylvester: “What was so striking was it was she her introduced the issue of family, I didn’t raise it at all… it wasn’t I who introduced it, she did.”

          An hour later at 10:04 the BBC has Rachel Sylvester saying she did raise the question

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

          Lundavra July 10, 2016 9:55 am Reply
          • I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was an organised campaign to block Leadsom, she’s got a looming integrity deficit and yet obviously appeals to lots of the ‘old school’ Tories – and this must be causing real alarm among many MPs in much the same way as the current traumas in the Labour Party have created a rift between the ‘old school’ left and the MPs.
            Labour might seem to have the worse troubles, but at least there are no big questions about the integrity of their leader.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

            Robert Wakeham July 10, 2016 10:27 am
      • That’s very hypocritical of you! Westminster bods smear and lie their way through life in general
        Didn’t here you complain when news ie back Carmichael in his Frenchgate lying episode.
        Maybe you should consider standing for Westminster Tory as you seem to have all necessary credentials

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

        A.Salmon July 10, 2016 10:09 am Reply
      • the brexiters complaining about the press!!!

        Makes you smile.

        Another GE election in due course with the main parties agreeing to remain in the EU. uKIP can try and respond but still don’t have enough votes or seats for Westminster.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

        No Cheese Here July 10, 2016 11:06 pm Reply
  • Robert is still believing what he hears on his favourite media outlet – the BBC. Incidentally, on the Biased Broadcasting Corporation’s Andrew Marr show this morning there was much talk by the two woman on the settee about what Endrea Leadsom had said on the ‘mother subject’. At no time did anyone mention that the journalist in question had admitted to lying and had now confessed to her lying. If in fact she hadn’t lied and had put the ‘mother subject’ into perspective in her Times article then it would not have been the dominant major media headline it has become. An interesting analogy would be that if this journalist accuses Tony Blair of lying would we now be able to believe her or just assume she was going for yet another ‘ego boosting, money making’ headline.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    Malcolm Kirk July 10, 2016 11:03 am Reply
    • I think that ‘the mother subject’ is just the tip of the iceberg, Malcolm, and I do think that folk who go on about the ‘biased BBC’ are wearing some fairly hefty chips on their shoulders.
      Incidentally, it’s far from just the BBC that’s informed my opinion of La Leadsom – but I wasn’t aware that Rachel Sylvester had recanted her story, I’ll be interested to see how the issue develops further.
      For someone who says she’s motivated by her Christianity, she’s displayed some very interesting behaviour when it comes to enriching herself over the years (I’ll not mention breeding company directors) – and I wonder what her definition of patriotism is?
      Not so much swivel-eyed as swivel-brained, and I hear just now (courtesy of the good old BBC) that she’s once more being loudly defended by that master statesman (my words, Malcolm, not those of the Beeb) Ian Duncan-Smith.
      Be careful what you wish for, Malcolm.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

      Robert Wakeham July 10, 2016 12:16 pm Reply
      • Alas, Robert, I can’t agree with you there. The BBC is heavily biased, notably, over the EU and climate change.

        In democracies people get the politicians they deserve and if this is all we can find to differentiate between the two candidates, the Brexit one should go on to see through the will of the people expressed in the referendum.

        If Nicola wants another independence referendum because of that then she should go for it, although I doubt whether the outcome would be any different.

        Britain getting a deal with continued access to the single market like Norway and Switzerland i.e full access, plus new deals with Commonwealth and other countries, will demonstrate the weakness of Nicola’s imagined case that Brexit will damage Scotland – it won’t and an independent Scotland should follow the Norwegian/Swiss route.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        Andrew Argyle July 10, 2016 2:46 pm Reply
        • Yesterday I saw the comparison being made of the May versus Leadsom bout with a previous Tory beauty contest between Kenneth Clarke and Ian Duncan-Smith – when the party faithful plumped for the dud.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

          Robert Wakeham July 10, 2016 3:18 pm Reply
          • At least the Conservatives hold a contest for the leadership no matter how messy, I don’t seem to recall that happening when Eck decided to go.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

            Richard July 10, 2016 3:50 pm
          • Richard, that’s a bit unfair. Bar John Swinney (and I’m being kind), you wouldn’t let any of them run an egg and spoon race never mind the country. It’s not the SNPs fault they lack any real political heavy weights…

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

            JB July 10, 2016 4:53 pm
          • Richard – it wasn’t messy until the Times and a lying journalist decided who they wanted to win. Yes, there were claims and counter claims from supporters on each side but as long as these were reported fairly, they balance out. What happened in Leadsom’s case was bent and seriously interfered with a democratic process. Worse – it means the Times and their woman journalist did not trust the public by publishing fair comment, and that is questionable behaviour insulting to all of us. Incidentally Robert – I am not confident enough to believe I know best, and therefore I will vote with the majority of the people who do know both contestants and their potential value i.e. the Conservative Party MPs and that looks like it will be Mrs May.
            PS – Newsroom, keep up your anti SNP posts.
            PPS – does anyone actually read what the dork ‘A Salmon’ posts – I don’t !

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

            Malcolm Kirk July 10, 2016 6:09 pm
          • Malcolm – you’re deluding yourself talking of claims and counter-claims balancing out, and blocking from your mind the plain fact that Andrea Leadsom’s been caught out telling serial porkies about her career while presenting herself as a pious do-gooder, whereas Theresa May just doesn’t have that sort of dishonest personal baggage.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

            Robert Wakeham July 10, 2016 7:35 pm
        • There were reports last week that both the US and China had said that they think they will find it much easier to make trading agreements with the UK than the EU which just drag on for years.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          Lundavra July 11, 2016 1:13 am Reply
  • Brilliant laugh on council to this morning. Politics uk style is now rated funnier than Satirical programmes which usually have to embellish.
    After watching A Eagle on Brillos show,it would be a fair assumption that the lass is lacking.
    As for Maggie Thatcher1&2,hide your Dalmation puppies.
    This week could be comedy gold if the Labour National exec ban Corbyn from standing.i would bet it already has,as A Eagle is the unhappiest looking candidate ever to stand for election to Labours greatest office!
    Meanwhile in Castle Greyscull,the Tories will rip each other’s limbs off to see who will be the most evil Cruella Deville.
    Oh,the joys of watching poor old Blighty implode!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

    A.Salmon July 10, 2016 12:45 pm Reply
  • Please read the above guff and think,do you want to live in a country were folks like these discuss two ladies who are hell bent to do severe damage to Scotland.
    Tories are like Marmite. You either hate it or hate it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

    A.Salmon July 10, 2016 9:25 pm Reply
  • This is becoming a Tory rag!
    Well done Andy Murray for winning the cup.
    Andy,keeping Engish British since 2012

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

    A.Salmon July 10, 2016 10:11 pm Reply

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