Plus: The Chief Whip’s swift transformation from Francis Urquhart to Mr Bean. And: why I can’t bring myself to vote Tory in the local elections.
The Transport Secretary appeared to loiter enthusiastically, preventing Gauke, Rudd and Clark getting the shot they might have wanted.
Though there may have been extenuating circumstances – namely, contradictory instructions from Number Ten and the Whips respectively.
Several Ministers helped to see off the Government’s best hope of avoiding a full-on crisis in the Party – and perhaps of saving Brexit too.
A functioning Government would whip for Malthouse Two – the plan backed by Steve Baker, Nicky Morgan, Iain Duncan Smith, Damian Green, Simon Hart and others.
As the motion that was passed by the National Convention says, Conservative MPs need to honour their manifesto pledges.
Javid almost doubles his rating after his decisive handling of Begum. Meanwhile Rudd, Gauke and Clark all fall. And Grayling plumbs new depths.
“It is a shame” that Soubry, Wollaston and Allen left the Party, Rees-Mogg says. Plus: May should sack Rudd and friends if they vote for Cooper-Letwin.
There’s no guarantee that it would return a Commons supportive of any deal that May might put before it.
She hopes to move quickly while Labour is splitting, get a quick gloss on the backstop, square the ERG with a hint of Malthouse later – and, hey presto, the deal will be done.
Though he also tells Suella Braverman during a statement on Honda that he “respects the reasons for the decision that have been given”.
The Chief Whip has enjoyed something of a boost from last month’s victories on crucial votes, but the overall picture reflects a settled disenchantment.
Javid is right to bury the “tens of thousands” target – but he needs to set out a clear pathway to lower migration.
The Prime Minister’s previous form suggests that she will keep kicking the can down the road, or try to – even after the road runs out.
Is it reasonable to expect more political benefit from record numbers in employment, record numbers of vacancies, and wages rising faster than inflation?