After a few months of dramatic ups and downs, September seems to have done very little to shake-up our Cabinet League Table – perhaps surprising, in light of Salzburg. Here are the highlights:
- Javid and Mordaunt hold their podium spots… The Home Secretary holds on to the gold-medal position he has enjoyed since June, and the International Development Secretary gets bumped from silver to bronze (despite a marginally higher personal score compared to last month).
- …as Hunt joins the pack. It’s been a good month for the Foreign Secretary, who last month was sitting in fifth place with a score just short of 42 per cent. What’s done it? His signalling on a Canada-type solution for Brexit? His fluent Japanese? Whatever the explanation may be, his score is up 20 points and he’s within a hair’s breadth of topping the poll. Esther McVey thus loses her spot in the top three, one again despite a small increase in her personal score.
- Grayling brings up the rear. It’s been a while since the Chancellor (who used to yo-yo through the rankings) has had a good month, but the Transport Secretary has had a very bad one and has thus sunk to last place with a score of -53.2. That Hammond is anywhere close to this despite the lack of any comparable disaster in his own brief is fairly remarkable.
- Bradley in the red. With Northern Ireland enjoying a more prominent position than ever in the current political crisis, members have passed a withering judgement on how Karen Bradley is handling the brief. Her score has fallen from 1.8 to -20.5, under-performing Julian Smith.
- Davidson recovers her position somewhat. After a 20-point dive in last month’s rankings after her (self-confessedly misjudged) intervention in the Boris Johnson burqa row, the Scottish Tory leader has started to make up ground after her widely-praised remarks about mental health. Paul Davies, the new Welsh leader, has yet to make an impact on the membership: his low net positive score masks the fact that nearly 80 per cent of respondents marked ‘Don’t Know’.