This week has seen James Cleverly boost his personal profile, whilst Keir Starmer continues to toe the line of the central ground in a bid to win over those Blue Wall voters. And it's been a tumultuous week for the Home Secretary as she continues to criticise the UK's immigration approach...which she presides over. Westminster never fails to excite! Read below to find out more.
Flying High: James Cleverly
Much like the rest of the UK, WTWN has been glued to the latest Netflix sensation, The Diplomat, and it seems we are in good company…
Foreign Secretary James Cleverley revealed that he is also a fan during a quick interview in which he deconstructed what was realistic and what was not about the world of diplomacy and foreign relations.
Whilst the Foreign Secretary’s considered explanations of where the show falls short of reality were interesting, what was more revealing was how Cleverley chose to broadcast the interview on his own social media channel. It brings to mind another recent holder of a Great Office of State who built up his own personal, personable brand on his social media channels before rising to the top of the greasy Westminster pole.
The next Tory leadership race is sure to be interesting.
Middle Ranking: Keir Starmer
The Labour leader is determined to win the next general election and has identified the lack of homes as a potent dividing line with the Conservatives during an in-depth interview with The Times this week.
Ironically, a housebuilding dividing line already exists within the Conservative Party itself with the Tories split between Queen of the NIMBYs Theresa Villiers and King of the Diggers Simon Clarke.
The Conservative path to remaining in government at the next general election is incredibly small and it can’t afford to risk alienating either aspirational young families wanting their first homes, or home counties green-belters flirting with the idea of voting Lib Dem.
Starmer’s wedge position could make the decision for the Tories, forcing them to fall on the side of the NIMBYs by continuing with their policy of scrapping housebuilding targets.
But election victory for Labour is reliant on the Liberal Democrats breaking down the Blue Wall in the south so it remains to be seen whether this is the correct strategy for Starmer.
Sinking Low: Suella Braverman
Home Secretary Suella Braverman continues in her Quixotic campaign of lobbying herself to reduce immigration by making a speech at the National Conservatism conference this week.
Braverman may be her own worst critic which is why she is calling for her own department to do more to reduce immigration but the cynics in Westminster believe this to be part of a future Tory leadership bid.
Braverman is likely to be positioning herself to carry the flame of the Tory right and may be preparing for a Great Resignation so she can frame herself as the true defender of conservative values.
But will a possible future great sulk unite the Tory right or will they be more impressed by others who stuck around and did the hard yards in government? Time will tell.