On the 24th of May, Theresa May announced her resignation as Prime Minister and Conservative party leader. That was 52 days ago. Since then, the ten nominated candidates have been reduced to two; Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.
During this time, the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV have all hosted televised debates, and Sky News hosted an interview with Jeremy Hunt. Boris Johnson refused to attend the first televised debate on the BBC, and refused to attend a televised debate that had been planned by Sky. Consequentially, Sky then cancelled their debate, replacing it with a televised interview; Johnson again refused to attend.
Throughout this farce, headlines have been saturated with this Conservative leadership debate, leaving little room for any other coverage. Similarly, Parliament appears to have ground to a standstill due to the complete leadership void, and resultant lack of direction on all fronts.
However, throughout this machoistic virile the clock ticks on. Whilst this embarrassingly egotistical palaver continues, time is simply being wasted. When the European Union gave us another extension on the Brexit extension period, the then President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said; “please do not waste this time”. This is exactly what is now happening. This Conservative party leadership election is wasting the precious time that we have left.
The Houses of Parliament break for summer recess on the 25th of July. After that it returns on the 3rd of September, and with no sitting Fridays agreed (meaning Parliament is not scheduled to be open for meeting hours on a Friday), there are only a maximum of 38 days in which a new Prime Minister can form an entire cabinet and find a solution that a majority of MPs in the House of Commons can back. Now that the Conservative party is further divided over this leadership struggle, it is unlikely that a solution will be sought, or implemented.
It seems clear that we are heading towards further deadlock as Parliament remains ever-divided. The new Prime Minister, whomever he will be, will struggle with no public mandate in the exact same way Theresa May did two years ago. She ended up calling a general election in order to seek this mandate. I suspect the next Prime Minister will feel the same way and as a result do the same thing. It appears that the Conservative party has learned nothing from its mistakes.
But what will we, the British public, get out of this Conservative leadership struggle? We will get an undemocratically elected Prime Minister, determined to take the UK out of the EU with no-deal. This is against the will of the British people. We did not vote for no deal. We did not vote for instability. We did not vote to be worse off. And we definitely did not vote for Boris Johnson. This leadership struggle is an absolute farce that has been orchestrated by the Conservative party, and it is wasting our precious time. This is not what we voted for.